Back in the Saddle Again...

Written by Brad Pendley
Sunday, May 10, 2015

Photo of Brad Pendley.After a much smoother beginning to the 2015 survey season, my pilot-biologist Jim Wortham and I have started making our way from Maryland to Stratum 50. Last year’s start was hampered by plane issues before leaving the states and a weather delay before we could start the first transect. This year we flew straight up and got started right away on Stratum 50.

Starting my second season as an observer was less stressful to say the least. I knew what to expect and even got to see some of the same smiling faces in the small towns we stop at along the way. As we made our way along 50-1, it was interesting to me that I could recognize many of the same landmarks from the previous season. Big waterfalls and some ice cover on the larger lakes were a familiar sight. The ducks were still there and identification at low altitude returned quickly as well.

While we had a fast start, we woke up this morning to strong wind and spitting snow. These down days offer an opportunity to tweak anything needed on the plane and get caught up on some paperwork from home. It also allows exploration of some interesting small towns scattered across Ontario. Here’s hoping for good and safe flying days with lots of waterfowl.

Our chariot.

Our chariot. Photo by Jim Wortham, USFWS