Blistery Winds!

Written by Jean-Michel DeVink
Monday, May 16, 2011

Photo of Jean-Michel DeVink.For those of us who enjoy wildlife, there is no better time to view them than early in the morning when conditions are calm and there is little disturbance on the landscape. Waterfowl hunters have known this for years, and our ground crews are able to enjoy Saskatchewan’s wildlife en route and during our counts. It’s also a great opportunity to snap some pictures of the critters we admire.

Conditions in southern Saskatchewan have been enjoyable for conducting waterfowl surveys both from the air and on the ground over the last few days. Clear skies, cool temperatures and light winds makes for happy crews as we run across the prairie counting ducks and ponds along our transects. We were able to complete three days of transects in a row prior to Monday morning, which was cancelled due to high winds. Ground counts cannot be completed in winds exceeding 25mph (40 km/hr), and this morning there were whitecaps on every large pond, which would affect our ability to count ducks. We’ll try again tomorrow morning. Fortunately, we’re based out of Saskatoon for the next two days, which meant a rest day at home for some, or a day at the office for others.

A drake pintail rests on a shallow pond on the Marquis transect in the company of several long-billed dowitchers.

A drake pintail rests on a shallow pond on the Marquis transect in the company of several long-billed dowitchers. Photo by Jean-Michel DeVink, CWS

A young curious antelope buck approaches the ground crew truck as we count waterfowl on a pond.

A young curious antelope buck approaches the ground crew truck as we count waterfowl on a pond. Photo by Jean-Michel DeVink, CWS

High winds creating whitecap conditions on some ponds impeded the SK ground crews on Monday morning.

High winds creating whitecap conditions on some ponds impeded the SK ground crews on Monday morning. Photo by Jean-Michel DeVink, CWS