Where There Were Two There Is Now One

Written by Jean-Michel DeVink
Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Photo of Jean-Michel DeVink.For the last three days we’ve been running transects in western Saskatchewan. Our air crew was able to fly one day in western Saskatchewan, on the 21st, before taking a required day off after flying straight through for six days. We headed out to complete our ground transects near Kindersley, Saskatchewan, before returning to Saskatoon and awaiting the air crew to get back in the air. After a day break, we headed a bit further north based out of North Battleford along the North Saskatchewan River to complete two days of transects in the area. With a big low pressure system moving in, we were getting out earlier than usual to take advantage of the calmer winds in the morning to stay within the Standard Operating Protocol. We fought with winds, but got’em done. After a long day on transects on the 24th, we’re headed to the northeast part of our survey area before finishing up in the northcentral area near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

Generally, the northwestern portion of the Saskatchewan prairies has quite a bit more moisture than has been seen in a long time. Along with high pond counts and very full basins, we’re seeing better numbers of ducks in the area as well, compared to the past several years. This could be due to southern Alberta opening up long before areas further east and many birds may have been funneled into the western prairies. We have three days of ground transects left, and we’re done again for another year.

A large pond on transect where what used to be two ponds have flooded together.

A large pond on transect where what used to be two ponds have flooded together. Photo by Jean-Michel DeVink, CWS