Crossing the Rocks

Written by Jim Bredy
Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Photo of Jim Bredy.On May 1st, at 13,500 feet, I crossed the rocks near Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks, for another duck survey season in Alberta. I am very fortunate, in that I have the pleasure of flying with Dr. Joe Sands, again, a USFWS waterfowl biologist from the Portland, OR area. We flew a pre-survey recon on May 2nd, and started the surveys on May 3rd. The air/ground crew will start tomorrow. The very southern portions of the survey area appear to be very dry. We have a lot of surveying yet to accomplish. We are praying that the wetland and habitat conditions improve as we move further north. Stay tuned…

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"Here We Go Again!" May 3, 2016. The start of the Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat surveys in Southern and Central Alberta.Video by Joe Sands, US FWS

On May 1, at 13,500', I "crossed the rocks" again, for another survey season in Alberta. I NEVER tire looking at these majestic mountains. They are like a large magnet, that draws me back to "God's Country" every year!  Photo Credit: Jim Bredy, USFWS

On May 1, at 13,500', I "crossed the rocks" again, for another survey season in Alberta. I NEVER tire looking at these majestic mountains. They are like a large magnet, that draws me back to "God's Country" every year! Photo Credit: Jim Bredy, USFWS

This high level aerial photo shows typical habitat in this area. There are not as many "seasonal" wetland basins in this area, compared to just a few years ago. Photo Credit: Jim Bredy, USFWS

This high level aerial photo shows typical habitat in this area. There are not as many "seasonal" wetland basins in this area, compared to just a few years ago. Photo Credit: Jim Bredy, USFWS

Segment 29-01-07. A few years ago, this large wetland basin was overflowing, with the road flooded out. The extremely low water levels in this basin are typical of what has happened to the larger wetland basins in this area. Photo Credit: Jim Bredy, USFWS

Segment 29-01-07. A few years ago, this large wetland basin was overflowing, with the road flooded out. The extremely low water levels in this basin are typical of what has happened to the larger wetland basins in this area. Photo Credit: Jim Bredy, USFWS

This photo was taken during a pre-survey reconnaissance flight. There are few natural wetland basins in this "Short Grass Prairie" area of Southeast Alberta. Photo Credit: Jim Bredy, USFWS

This photo was taken during a pre-survey reconnaissance flight. There are few natural wetland basins in this "Short Grass Prairie" area of Southeast Alberta. Photo Credit: Jim Bredy, USFWS

This dry habitat is typical of the many wetland basins near Medicine Hat Alberta.  This is located in the Southeast corner of Alberta in Stratum 29. Photo Credit: Jim Bredy, USFWS

This dry habitat is typical of the many wetland basins near Medicine Hat Alberta. This is located in the Southeast corner of Alberta in Stratum 29. Photo Credit: Jim Bredy, USFWS

The survey planes shadow falls along this large dry wetland basin, in far Southeast Alberta, near the Montana and Saskatchewan borders. Photo Credit: Jim Bredy, USFWS

The survey planes shadow falls along this large dry wetland basin, in far Southeast Alberta, near the Montana and Saskatchewan borders. Photo Credit: Jim Bredy, USFWS

Segment 29-02-10. There is an increasing amount of wind energy development in Alberta. However, this IS NOT the view one wants to see, on their low-level duck survey line. Photo Credit: Jim Bredy, USFWS

Segment 29-02-10. There is an increasing amount of wind energy development in Alberta. However, this IS NOT the view one wants to see, on their low-level duck survey line. Photo Credit: Jim Bredy, USFWS