Atlantic Crew Making Progress Again

Written by Mark Koneff
Friday, June 03, 2011

Photo of Mark Koneff.After a quick mandatory aircraft inspection by the accommodating crew at Maine Aero in Bangor, we departed again for Newfoundland and Labrador to complete the survey. Weather continues to plague all attempts to make rapid progress, but we have caught a few breaks lately. On June 1 we finally flew the first 2 lines in southern Newfoundland. After sitting in Stephenville, Newfoundland, for a day in heavy rain, we flew the western and northern portion of the island today. The terrain there is dramatic, rising rapidly from a wetland-studded coastal plain into the Long Range Mountains. The photos just don’t do it justice. Despite the survey delays, we still encountered some patchy snow at higher elevations in this region, though very little ice was observed on the lakes and wetlands. Overall, survey timing still looks acceptable, with most observations consisting of paired birds or lone drakes. Habitat conditions look good overall, though continued cold and wet weather during the brood-rearing season could depress productivity.

Dramatic shoreline of the Western Brook Pond in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland.

Dramatic shoreline of the Western Brook Pond in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland. Photo by J. Bidwell, US FWS (retired)

Coastal plain rises rapidly into the Long Range Mountains of northwestern Newfoundland.

Coastal plain rises rapidly into the Long Range Mountains of northwestern Newfoundland. Photo by J. Bidwell, US FWS (retired)

Western Brook Pond from a higher vantage point.

Western Brook Pond from a higher vantage point. Photo by M. Koneff, US FWS

Cliffs on the west coast of Newfoundland drop into the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Cliffs on the west coast of Newfoundland drop into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Photo by M. Koneff, US FWS