North for the Final Push; May 23-30

Written by Mike Rabe
Monday, May 28, 2012

Mike RabeAfter all the troubles we had early in the survey, we finally hit our stride this week. The plane ran great on the ferry north, the weather cooperated, and we had little trouble with the remaining transects. Spring has just sprung in Northern Saskatchewan; the ducks are paired up and the ice has disappeared from the smaller waters. This is the land of black and white ducks: scaup, goldeneye, and bufflehead mostly. So what was that single drake pintail I counted on the last day doing there? I am sure his hen was in the weeds nearby. The insects are just beginning to come out (we can tell that from how dirty the windshield gets by the end of the day). Only the bigger lakes still had ice and it was going out fast. Our last stop was Stony Rapids, where we finished the last transects in record time. Kevin and I were glad to head back south on May 29 and even then, things went well. Smooth air and tailwinds followed us all the way to Bismarck. This year’s survey proved the advice my grandfather gave me years ago--persistence is the only quality that guarantees success in every endeavor.

Black Lake - spring is just getting started here.

Black Lake - spring is just getting started here. Photo by Mike Rabe, Arizona Game and Fish Department

A lightning strike west of Stoney Rapids, Saskatchewan.

A lightning strike west of Stoney Rapids, Saskatchewan. Photo by Mike Rabe, Arizona Game and Fish Department

Kevin grabbing at bite at Points, North Saskatchewan.

Kevin grabbing at bite at Points, North Saskatchewan. Photo by Mike Rabe, Arizona Game and Fish Department