A Great Start to the Survey

Written by Sarah Yates
Monday, May 12, 2014

Sarah YatesSo things did go as planned and John and I arrived in Manitoba on the 6th. We had to spend a couple of nights in Winnipeg due to marginal weather in Brandon, but we did arrive in Brandon on the 8th and were ready to start the survey on the 9th. We had perfect weather for the start of survey on the 9th and 10th. We flew southeast and southern lines to start, and these included a line in stratum 38 and the majority of lines in 39. Conditions look excellent so far. The first thing we’ve noticed is how much more water is around this year compared with last year. Unlike last year, we are seeing A LOT of sheet water and most of the depressions are full or flooded along our survey lines to date. All major water bodies are flooded, including the Assiniboine River and Whitewater and Oak Lakes. Timing of the survey is looking good and we’ve had an even mix of mallard pairs and lone drakes. Similar to what Phil Thorpe is reporting in southern Saskatchewan, we are also seeing more green-winged teal than last year. We’ve been down a couple of days due mostly to gusty winds, but are hoping to start survey day three in southeastern Saskatchewan on the 13th.

Flooded Assiniboine River, in Brandon, Manitoba.

Flooded Assiniboine River, in Brandon, Manitoba. Photo by Sarah Yates, US FWS

Flooded road in the middle of Brandon, Manitoba.

Flooded road in the middle of Brandon, Manitoba. Photo by Sarah Yates, US FWS

The scaup seems to be enjoying the flooded conditions in Brandon.

The scaup seems to be enjoying the flooded conditions in Brandon. Photo by Sarah Yates, US FWS