Survey Starts in the Aspen Parklands

Written by Phil Thorpe
Monday, May 14, 2012

Photo of Phil Thorpe.We started surveying the Aspen Parklands today. Wetland conditions were pretty dry along the Alberta border, but improve to the east towards Saskatoon. We ended the survey early because winds started blowing above 22 knots (25mph). The Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the survey limit us to surveying below those wind limits because: 1) it starts redistributing the birds to leeward shores and, 2) the air starts getting turbulent and the pilot-observer spends less time counting ducks and more time controlling the plane. You have to remind yourself that it’s a duck survey and if you’re doing a poor job counting ducks then you should stop surveying them. Tomorrow’s forecast looks better for flying and counting.

You can see the water levels are dropping near Macklin, Saskatchewan.

You can see the water levels are dropping near Macklin, Saskatchewan. Photo by Phil Thorpe, USFWS

Drier conditions are evident near the Alberta border.

Drier conditions are evident near the Alberta border. Photo by Phil Thorpe, USFWS