Friday, 11 May 2018

May 11 2018

NATURE MONCTON INFORMATION LINE, May 11, 2018 (Friday)


Please advise editor at nelson@nb.sympatico.ca if any errors are noted in wording or photo labeling.

For more information on Nature Moncton, check into the website at
www.naturemoncton.com

Edited by: Nelson Poirier nelson@nb.sympatico.ca
Transcript by: Louise Nichols nicholsl@eastlink.ca
Info Line # 506-384-6397 (384-NEWS)
To respond by e-mail, please address your message to the information line editor nelson@nb.sympatico.ca.

** Mathew Vickruck and Ted Barney spotted a SANDHILL CRANE [Grue du Canada] over the Tantramar Marsh at noon on Thursday, seeing it from the High Marsh Rd.  Some of those  stubble corn fields in that area could be very attractive to Sandhill Cranes.

** Karen and Jamie Burris comment that they are seeing lots of warblers on walks near Turtle Creek.  They enjoyed a BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER [Paruline noir et blanc] that was vocalizing with all the vigour it could muster.  Other warblers noted were BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER [Paruline à gorge noire], COMMON YELLOWTHROAT [Paruline masquée] and the ever-present YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS [Paruline à croupion jaune].  It’s a great time to sleuth warblers before all the leaves are out.  Jamie is surprised by the number of sparrows that are coming to his relatively small Riverview yard with CHIPPING SPARROW [Bruant familier], SONG SPARROW [Bruant chanteur], WHITE-THROATED SPARROW [Bruant à gorge blanche], and a surprising 15 SAVANNAH SPARROWS [Bruant des prés].  They also have a pair of MALLARDS [Canard colvert] visiting, suspecting it may be the same pair as last year.  Jamie also has a photo of a PORCUPINE [Porc-épic d'Amerique] that really shows the very long claws.  Jamie quips it was one that made it across the road without tire tread marks on it!

** Gordon Rattray had his first visit of the season from a male ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK [Cardinal à poitrine rose], always a show stopper.  So nice to see them returning for the summer with us.  A sharp dresser and a super crooner.

** Lynda Leclerc went on a hike on the Humphrey Trail from the Harrisville entrance.  By the man-made Meadow Lake, the trees there were alive with YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS [Paruline à croupion jaune] and a few NORTHERN PARULA [Paruline à collier].  At the lake were six CANADA GEESE [Bernache du Canada], two of which were being very aggressive to the other four.  Lynda’s Nature Moncton swallow box now has a pair of TREE SWALLOWS [Hirondelle bicolore] setting up housekeeping.  Many of us may not get to this trail much, but reports from it are always good.  Lynda comments that the flock of 10 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS [Bruant à gorge blanche] only stayed a few days in her yard, apparently a flock moving through that stopped for refueling.  She has six CEDAR WAXWINGS [Jaseur d'Amérique] still coming to the fallen Mountain Ash berries of winter meeting their culinary satisfaction.

** Aldo Dorio notes that the OSPREY [Balbuzard pêcheur] are still coming back to the area of the fallen down nest of last year in Hay Island, but no evidence of rebuilding in the same site.  One had a fat Flounder in his talons that may help refuel the effort.

** Brian and Annette Stone made a hike in Mapleton Park on Thursday.  They saw a brief flicker of a VIRGINIA RAIL [Râle de Virginie] in the marsh area and heard it vocalizing several times.  They also heard a SORA [Marouette de Caroline] but did not see it.  Three interesting species in that marsh area the last few days with Suzanne Gregoire’s GREEN HERON [Héron vert] and now a Virginia Rail and Sora.  Brian got a nice photo of a MAYFLY showing nicely its sailboat silhouette; however, I think it is missing one tail as I think all Mayfly species have three tails.  The male RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS [Carouge à épaulettes] were very much announcing their territories.  SERVICE BERRY was in bloom.  Last year’s sporephyte stocks of SENSITIVE FERN were standing out, and HONEYSUCKLE was in bloom.  Brian photographed another blooming plant I did not recognize.  Jim Goltz came to the rescue, saying that it is a DAFFODIL CULTIVAR that has gone wild.  Jim provides a link to the variety of daffodil cultivars one can encounter now. http://farmingtongrapelibrary.com/daffodil%20photo%20gallery.html  Mapleton Park must be an ideal spot for escapees being so near to homes on one side.

** A GREAT EGRET [Grande Aigrette] seems to be enjoying Miramichi hospitality.  Pam Watters first spotted it several days ago, and it is seemingly enjoying the marsh behind the Atlantic Superstore and a much larger wet area just of Rte 126 near the railway tracks before coming to the end of Rte 126 at the traffic lights.  This is where I saw it on Thursday and it seemingly is getting a lot of food as seen from the frequent spearing into the dead tree pond area.

** This week’s Sky-at-a-Glance is added to this edition, courtesy of Curt Nason.  Take note of the apparent magnitude of brightness chart included that is attached in photos.

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, May 12 - May 19

In the second century BC the Greek astronomer Hipparchus of Nicaea
ranked the stars according to their brightness in six categories called magnitudes (for greatness). The 20 brightest stars were rated first magnitude and the faintest stars were sixth magnitude. This system was retained for two millennia and standardized in the 19th century when much fainter stars were being detected by astrophotography. English astronomer Norman Pogson devised a logarithmic system whereby five magnitudes was a difference in star brightness of exactly 100 times. With this system, a magnitude 1 star is about 2.5 times brighter than a magnitude 2 star, and that one is 2.5 times brighter than a magnitude 3 star.

For many of us, the faintest star we can detect with the naked eye in a reasonably dark sky is sixth magnitude (commonly just called mag 6). Vega, the fifth brightest star, is mag 0, as is slightly brighter
Arcturus. With the ability to measure the exact brightness of stars,
their magnitudes are often recorded to one or two decimal places, and negative values are used for very bright objects. Sirius is mag -1.4; Jupiter is currently mag -2.5 and Venus is -3.8. The full Moon is mag -12.6, approximately 400,000 times fainter than the Sun at -26.7. A
first magnitude star is brighter than mag 1.5, a second  magnitude star shines between mag 1.5 and 2.5, and so on.

These brightness values are for the apparent magnitude of a star, as we see them when they are highest in the sky. At lower altitudes the
atmosphere will absorb some of the starlight, making them appear dimmer.
Astronomers call this effect extinction. The apparent magnitude of a star depends on its size and temperature, and also on its distance from us. A doubling of distance reduces the brightness by a factor of four, and ten times the distance by a factor of 100. Therefore, if one star is ten times farther than a mag 3 star of equal size and temperature, it would be at mag 8 and we would require binoculars to see it.

Just a little astronomy lesson to brighten your day.

This Week in the Solar System

Saturday’s sunrise in Moncton is at 5:50 am and sunset will occur at
8:41 pm, giving 14 hours, 51 minutes of daylight (5:57 am and 8:43 pm in Saint John). Next Saturday the Sun will rise at 5:42 am and set at 8:49 pm, giving 15 hours, 7 minutes of daylight (5:50 am and8:51 pm in Saint John).

The Moon is new on Tuesday and the crescent Moon pairs withVenus in the evening sky on Thursday. Jupiter teeters upward in the southeast as they totter toward the northwestern horizon. Jupiter’s famous Red Spot storm is prominent in a telescope this year and it is facing in our direction at 11:15 pm on Tuesday. Saturn and Mars offer great viewing in the morning sky, with Mars passing near the faint globular cluster M75 early
in the week.

Questions? Contact Curt Nason at
nasonc@nbnet.nb.ca.

The attached Apparent Magnitude chart was made by the European Space Agency.


Nelson Poirier,
Nature Moncton

apparent-magnitude

BLACK AND WHITE WARBLER MAY 9 2018. JAMIE BURRIS

BLACK THROATED GREEN WARBLER MAY 9 2018 JAMIE BURRIS

DAFFODIL CULTIVAR GONE WILD. MAY 10, 2018. BRIAN STONE

DAFFODIL CULTIVAR GONE WILD. MAY 10, 2018. BRIAN STONE


PORCUPINE MAY 2 2018 JAMIE BURRIS

RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD.. MAY 10, 2018. BRIAN STONE

ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK. MAY 10, 2018. GORDON RATTRAY

SAVANNAH SPARROW MAY 9 2018 JAMIE BURRIS

SENSITIVE FERN (SPOROPHYTE FROM 2017). MAY 10, 2018.  BRIAN STONE
SERVICEBERRY IN FLOWER.. MAY 10, 2018. BRIAN STONE


MAYFLY. MAY 10, 2018. BRIAN STONE

GREAT EGRET.MAY 10, 2018. NELSON POIRIER 

GREAT EGRET.MAY 10, 2018. NELSON POIRIER 

GREAT EGRET.MAY 10, 2018. NELSON POIRIER 

HONEYSUCKLE IN FLOWER. MAY 10, 2018. BRIAN STONE