Manitoba Ground Crew Finishes 2014 Survey

Written by Marc Schuster
Thursday, May 22, 2014

Photo of Marc Schuster.After a relatively smooth survey with only one weather day, the Manitoba ground Crew was almost able to finish on Monday, May 19. I say almost, because we had finished 27 of 28 ground segments when the rains came that Monday morning. We were close enough to Winnipeg that we decided to head home and wait out the weather and come back to finish our Moore Park Transect. In hindsight it was a wise decision, because it rained for 2 days straight, with some areas of Southern Manitoba receiving 2 inches of rain! Eventually we were able to complete the ground survey on May 22, after Sarah Yates re-flew the segment for us on May 21. In spite of all this, and the unusually late spring in Manitoba this year, we were able to finish a full week ahead of last year.

Habitat conditions were good to excellent throughout most of the survey area; in particular, strata 39 and 40 were much wetter than last year. As I mentioned in my last post, stratum 39 had good response with duck numbers that were approximately 60% higher than last year. Stratum 40 also had higher numbers, with strata 34 and 35 coming in at about the same to slightly wetter than last year. Overall, it appears to be a good year for ducks in our survey area!

Some proof of our late spring, snow still present on the Lavinia Transect!

Some proof of our late spring, snow still present on the Lavinia Transect! Photo by Marc Schuster, Canadian Wildlife Service

"Maybe if I stand still enough, they won’t see me!” – American Bittern on the Grayson Transect. Photo by Megan Ross, Canadian Wildlife Service

Megan Ross uses and ATV to check ponds on the Grayson Transect.

Megan Ross uses and ATV to check ponds on the Grayson Transect. Photo by Darin Walker, Canadian Wildlife Service

Sunrise over the Wroxton Transect.

Sunrise over the Wroxton Transect. Photo by Marc Schuster, Canadian Wildlife Service

Mallard on the Earl Grey Transect.

Mallard on the Earl Grey Transect. Photo by Marc Schuster, Canadian Wildlife Service

Lesser Scaup Pair on the Earl Grey Transect.

Lesser Scaup Pair on the Earl Grey Transect. Photo by Marc Schuster, Canadian Wildlife Service

Bufflehead on the Wroxton Transect.

Bufflehead on the Wroxton Transect. Photo by Marc Schuster, Canadian Wildlife Service