Ungava Peninsula

Gone In a Flash

Ungava Peninsula
Written by Steve Earsom
Thursday, July 07, 2016

Photo of Stephen D. Earsom.“Steve, is that you?” Well, yes it was. I had just run into another friend I had made last year in Kuujjuaq during the Ungava survey. That survey took a while. Quite a while, in fact; long enough for me to walk on every road in town, and get to know a number of the locals, and others who, like me, were just in town for a short time to get a job done. We sat on the ground for 8 straight days waiting for weather to improve during that survey. But that was then.

Gravel and Graupel

Ungava Peninsula
Written by Steve Earsom
Thursday, June 25, 2015

Photo of Stephen D. Earsom.Jean and I have taken advantage of two days of sometimes marginal, but flyable weather to spin the Kodiak's prop across the peninsula.

Take Me Out To the Ball Game

Ungava Peninsula
Written by Steve Earsom
Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Photo of Stephen D. Earsom.When I was a senior in high school I was first baseman on our baseball team. I thought it would be a fun sport to play again before heading off to college, since I had always enjoyed playing during the summers while growing up. Well, it wasn’t fun. We were bad. In fact, we were spectacularly awful.

West by Northeast

Ungava Peninsula
Written by Steve Earsom
Sunday, June 14, 2015

Photo of Stephen D. Earsom.This year's Ungava Peninsula survey began with me heading west to St. Paul to pick up N723, now shorn of floats for the summer. A couple of short test flights served to identify and resolve remaining minor maintenance issues, then I was headed northeast. A full day of flying put me in Quebec City, then another to get to Kuujjuak.

2014 Ungava Peninsula Survey Complete

Ungava Peninsula
Written by Steve Earsom and Bill Harvey
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Photo of Bill Harvey.Photo of Stephen D. Earsom.The 2014 Ungava survey is complete. We roared to the finish line and on home with four full days of flying and (mostly) friendly weather. The data are still being tabulated for the western side of the peninsula, but the goose numbers for the eastern side are very similar to the data from 2012—a relatively good year. The habitat throughout the peninsula was good, with plenty of water. Larger lakes were still mostly locked in ice, but small wetlands were open.

Picked Up Our Backseat Observer

Ungava Peninsula
Written by Steve Earsom
Monday, June 23, 2014

Photo of Stephen D. Earsom.As I mentioned in my first posting, we have now added a third crew member. Bill Harvey of the Maryland DNR has joined the survey. He is helping us complete transects on the western side of the Ungava peninsula. Bill is a great asset, and I've enjoyed hearing his stories of how this survey was conducted "way back" in the 1990s. And that, as always, is one of the strengths of these annual waterfowl surveys—their longevity.

There's an App for That

Ungava Peninsula
Written by Steve Earsom
Sunday, June 15, 2014

Photo of Stephen D. Earsom."And if we're landing at Kangirsuk, you'll want to watch out for caribou on the runway." So said my experienced observer, Jean Rodrique, rather matter-of-factly. Who was I to doubt him?

Beginning the Ungava Survey

Ungava Peninsula
Written by Steve Earsom
Saturday, June 14, 2014

Photo of Stephen D. Earsom.The light frames the dark curtains in my room. I groggily roll over to check my watch, thinking it must be about time to get up. 3:30AM. Whaa? Oh yeah, I'm in Nunavik.

Atlantic Population Canada Goose Survey in the Bag

Ungava Peninsula
Written by Mark Koneff
Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Photo of Mark Koneff.We departed Kuujjuaq on the Ungava Bay side of the Peninsula on June 17 and surveyed our way across to Purvirnituq on the Hudson Bay side. During the transit we also surveyed an experimental transect across previously un-surveyed interior regions. The Atlantic Flyway, Canadian Wildlife Service, and US Fish and Wildlife Service are utilizing the 20-year time series of information we now have for this goose population to improve the stratification of the survey. The experimental interior line, as well as several experimental lines in sparsely surveyed areas on the Hudson Bay coastline, will provide data on goose breeding densities in these areas and ensure they are aligned with the appropriate survey strata. Goose breeding densities are considerably higher along much of the Hudson Bay coast than in the interior or along the Ungava Bay. The region from Akulivik south past Purvirnituq and on to Inukjuak is a particularly important breeding area. Habitat conditions at the time of the survey were good; however, spring along the Hudson Bay coast was considerably colder than in the east, causing snow and ice to persist longer. Consistent westerly winds while we were on the Hudson coast caused morning fog and chilly, damp conditions during our brief stay. Despite this, we had decent flying and on June 20 we completed the survey and started home, arriving back in Bangor on June 21. Now the process of data error checking and estimation begins, and final decisions on survey re-stratification must be made. It will be a couple of weeks before final estimates are available to inform hunting regulations decisions.

Finished with the Ungava Bay Side

Ungava Peninsula
Written by Mark Koneff
Saturday, June 16, 2012

Photo of Mark Koneff.Today we finished up surveying the eastern portion of the Atlantic Population Canada Goose survey area on the Ungava Peninsula, Quebec. Habitat conditions across the east were good and geese were well distributed on breeding territories. Groups of geese were observed in southern portions of the survey area. These birds are believed to be molt-migrant resident geese from the U.S. Ice and snow were a bit more persistent (as usual) in the northeastern part of the survey area around Quataq. Interesting observations today near Quataq were several muskox and 3 beluga whales offshore. The observation of muskox was the furthest north ever during this survey. Muskox were released from captivity in Kuujjuaq in the 1980s and their population has expanded on the Ungava, so much so that a limited hunt is now allowed. Storms now prevent us from moving to the west side (Hudson Bay) of the peninsula to continue the survey, so we are back in Kuujjuaq. Next we’ll survey across the peninsula and move our “home base” to Purvirnituq on the shore of the Hudson Bay. The survey gets more interesting at that point, as goose densities are much greater on the Hudson Bay side of the survey area than on the Ungava Bay side.

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