Friday, 28 February 2020

Feb 28 2020


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Edited by: Nelson Poirier
Transcript by: Louise Nichols
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** Rheal Vienneau did a two days winter hideout at his woods camp in Bellisle to have 2 CANADA JAYS [Mésangeai du Canada] join him.  Very welcome company for sure.  These birds should be on a nest by now, but the photo may be young-of-the-year birds or else dad and a youngster with ma incubating.

** Pat Gibbs has been wondering for some time if something had befallen her resident RING-NECKED PHEASANT [Faisan de Colchide] in her Moncton yard.  However, the warm weather of Wednesday brought her male out again -- but not only the one, but two arrived, and both decided that only one should be there.  Pat witnessed her first cock fight.  The season has obviously arrived to establish who is cock of the walk!  An action photo is attached. 
Pat has moved to New Brunswick from British Columbia and thought she may be seeing dog tracks across the pond at Centennial Park until she saw the MALLARD DUCKS [Canard colvert] walking through the snow.  Pat comments that New Brunswick continues to surprise her.

** Daryl Doucet had another invasion of HOUSE FINCH [Roselin familier] to his Moncton feeder yard with the arrival of bad weather on Thursday with at least 25 individuals.  That’s a lot of House Finch for one feeder yard.

** It’s that time of the year to place some branches in a vase of water and let the leaves and flowers come forth and make spring feel that much closer.  My choice this year was RED OAK [Chêne rouge d’Amérique] and PRIVET [Troène].  I’m looking forward to seeing the tiny seed flowers that Red Oak produces that have  yet to be in the right place at the right time to see.

** It’s Friday, and this week’s Sky-at-a-Glance is included in this edition courtesy of sky guru Curt Nason, just in time for hopefully some clear night skies.

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, 2020 February 29 – March 7
Do you hear the wind? According to the weather proverb, March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, referring to roaring winds early in the month and calm days leading into April. As twilight ends this evening, look off to the east for a group of stars forming a sickle and leading a large triangle of stars. This combination is the constellation of Leo the Lion entering the sky as it did a few centuries ago, when the saying supposedly originated.

Now look to the west for a bent line of three stars west of the Pleiades star cluster. That is Aries the Ram, which could still be a lamb at heart. By the end of the month the annual march of constellations has Aries about to leave the sky as twilight ends. Our fickle weather won’t always follow the proverb but the constellations will continue to play it out for several generations to come.

This Week in the Solar System    

Saturday’s sunrise in Moncton is at 6:58 am and sunset will occur at 6:04 pm, giving 11 hours, 6 minutes of daylight (7:03 am and 6:10 pm in Saint John).  Next Saturday the Sun will rise at 6:46 am and set at 6:14 pm, giving 11 hours, 28 minutes of daylight (6:50 am and 6:20 pm in Saint John).

The Moon is at first quarter this Monday and it is near the Beehive star cluster in Cancer on Friday. Telescope users can look for the Lunar X around 9 pm on Sunday, located within the shadow line and a little below centre. Jupiter sits between Saturn to its east and Mars to its west in the morning sky, with Mars closing the gap daily. Mercury rises a half hour before sunrise this weekend, extending that spread by 20 minutes next weekend. Venus rules the sky as Hesperus, the Evening Star, setting after 10 pm,

The Saint John Astronomy Club meets in the Rockwood Park Interpretation Centre on March 7 at 7 pm. All are welcome.

Questions? Contact Curt Nason at
Nelson Poirier,
Nature Moncton




March 1 at 7 pm