Nearly Finished in Atlantic Canada with Good Conditions in Labrador

Written by John Bidwell
Saturday, May 28, 2016

John BidwellBrian and I have had unusually good surveying weather in Newfoundland and Labrador. Clear to overcast skies, good visibility and best of all, light winds. It has been a pleasure flying with Brian, who is a great biologist and a safe and professional pilot. We have flown all transects in both areas with the exception of one transect in southern Labrador, which includes 10 segments. We tried this morning to finish and head for Sept-Iles, Quebec for refueling, but low clouds and fog prevented our departure. This is the only delay that we have experienced.

Conditions and phenology look good in Labrador. The lower elevations are wide open and there is good dispersion of ducks and geese. At higher elevations and on the northern two transects, there is persistent ice on deeper lakes. Thawing is, however, rapidly occurring along the margins and is providing good habitat for staging waterfowl. We have seen groups of black ducks and scoters (spp.) staging and waiting for ice-out. With all the warm weather that Labrador is experiencing this May, it will be soon.

2016 Newfoundland and Labrador crew - left John Bidwell, retired biologist/pilot (left), Brian Lubinski Biologist/Pilot (right). Photo Credit: John Bidwell.

2016 Newfoundland and Labrador crew - left John Bidwell, retired biologist/pilot (left), Brian Lubinski Biologist/Pilot (right). Photo Credit: John Bidwell.

Southwestern transect in Labrador - perfect surveying conditions - the lake is like a mirror. Photo Credit: John Bidwell.

Southwestern transect in Labrador - perfect surveying conditions - the lake is like a mirror. Photo Credit: John Bidwell.

Southwestern transect in Labrador - old forest fire scars. Photo Credit: John Bidwell.

Southwestern transect in Labrador - old forest fire scars. Photo Credit: John Bidwell.

Smallwood Reservoir in Labrador - still frozen. Photo Credit: John Bidwell.

Smallwood Reservoir in Labrador - still frozen. Photo Credit: John Bidwell.

Northern transect line in Labrador - open water is available for staging waterfowl. Photo Credit: John Bidwell.

Northern transect line in Labrador - open water is available for staging waterfowl. Photo Credit: John Bidwell.

Taken on a northern transect in Labrador.  The edges of deeper lakes are melting and available for staging ducks. Photo Credit: John Bidwell.

Taken on a northern transect in Labrador. The edges of deeper lakes are melting and available for staging ducks. Photo Credit: John Bidwell.

A new hydro-electric power line out of Goose Bay Labrador is marked on our hazard maps. This adds to the safety of flight. Photo Credit: John Bidwell.

A new hydro-electric power line out of Goose Bay Labrador is marked on our hazard maps. This adds to the safety of flight. Photo Credit: John Bidwell.

One transect goes over the Mealy Mountains in Labrador - not much duck habitat at these elevations. Photo Credit: John Bidwell.

One transect goes over the Mealy Mountains in Labrador - not much duck habitat at these elevations. Photo Credit: John Bidwell.

Northern most transect line in Labrador - deeper lakes were still frozen. Photo Credit: John Bidwell.

Northern most transect line in Labrador - deeper lakes were still frozen. Photo Credit: John Bidwell.

The Churchill River in Labrador. Photo Credit: John Bidwell.

The Churchill River in Labrador. Photo Credit: John Bidwell.

Central Labrador... Calm survey conditions! Photo Credit: John Bidwell.

Central Labrador... Calm survey conditions! Photo Credit: John Bidwell.