Helicopter Done for the Year

Written by Paul Padding
Thursday, May 27, 2010

Paul Padding.The weather cleared enough yesterday to let Jim Wortham and Scott Boomer fly their last remaining survey line in northern Quebec, and our helicopter crew was able to fly one last 18-mile segment of that line after Jim and Scott were done. Many of the larger lakes in the eastern part of this survey area are still mostly ice-covered, but the smaller wetlands and smaller, shallower lakes are open. It looked like most of the dabbling ducks (black ducks and green-winged teal) and Canada geese we saw have already set up shop for nesting, whereas many of the diving ducks (mainly scaup and scoters) were paired and ready to go, but waiting for more water to open up. We saw several groups of those species, and those birds will likely break up and spread out as more lakes thaw out. Jim and Scott have a few more survey lines to do in eastern Quebec, but the helicopter crew is done for this year and we are on our way home today.

Some of the larger lakes are still ice-covered near the Quebec-Labrador border. (Credit:  Samantha Gibbs, USFWS.)

Some of the larger lakes are still ice-covered near the Quebec-Labrador border. Credit: Samantha Gibbs, USFWS.

Mosaic of lakes that is typical in northern Quebec.(Credit:  Samantha Gibbs, USFWS.)

Mosaic of lakes that is typical in northern Quebec. Credit: Samantha Gibbs, USFWS.

A group of about 20 surf scoters as viewed from the helicopter. Credit: Samantha Gibbs, USFWS.

Small group of surf scoters in western Labrador, near the Quebec border.(Credit:  Samantha Gibbs, USFWS.)

Small group of surf scoters in western Labrador, near the Quebec border. Credit: Samantha Gibbs, USFWS.

Small group of surf scoters in western Labrador, near the Quebec border.(Credit:  Samantha Gibbs, USFWS.)

Small group of surf scoters in western Labrador, near the Quebec border. Credit: Samantha Gibbs, USFWS.