NATURE MONCTON INFORMATION LINE, November 20, 2020 (Friday)
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Info Line # 506-384-6397 (384-NEWS)
** Mike Surette has been visiting his parents in the Kingswood subdivision and got a photo of a warbler that briefly dropped by their yard. It is a top view, yet very clear to show the yellowish-green rump, white wing bars (which are faint due to photo angle) and eye ring, all consistent with a PINE WARBLER [Paruline des pins]. It is a relatively dull plumage to suggest either a male (maybe immature) or an adult female. Gilles Belliveau was very helpful with this commentary.
**Richard Blacquiere’s finding of a female Eurasian Wigeon at Hampton lagoon has generated lots of interest. Brian Stone visited the site on Thursday. Unfortunately light did not cooperate but he did get more photos of it to add to the views and angles.
While there, Brian got photos of BUFFLEHEAD, GADWALL, COMMON GOLDENEYE, and TUKEY VULTURES. Note the female Common Goldeneye is just starting to take on the semi orange bill of breeding plumage.
He also sends a photo of a berry-laden shrub that appears to be BARBERRY. It seems untouched by birds and wonder about the palatability of this berry to birds if identification is correct.
** Wayne Corcoran in Chelmsford seems to operate the EVENING GROSBEAK [Gros-bec errant] capital of New Brunswick and has had them in good numbers for years when the numbers were very down. At the moment, his Evening Grosbeak patrons are approximately at 50+. He is getting lots of expected regulars, but BLUE JAYS [Geai bleu] are also high in number at 25 to 30.
** Aldo Dorio came across 10 PINE GROSBEAKS [Durbec des sapins] on the Neguac wharf on Thursday; however, they were accompanied by 3 AMERICAN ROBINS [Merle d'Amérique] this time.
** David Lilly leaves a list of patrons he is getting to his Oromocto yard to include 12 EVENING GROSBEAKS [Gros-bec errant], 2 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES [Sittelle à poitrine rousse], one DOWNY WOODPECKER [Pic mineur], one HAIRY WOODPECKER [Pic chevelu], 6 AMERICAN CROWS [Corneille d'Amérique], 12 PINE SISKINS [Tarin des pins], 4 BLUE JAYS [Geai bleu], 16 MOURNING DOVES [Tourterelle triste] and 6 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES [Mésange à tête noire]. That would seem to be the first group that would tend to look more to feeders as the weather cools.
** I was surprised to hear the seemingly weak but very audible hooting of a GREAT HORNED OWL from the deck of our Moncton home in the midst of an urban area, yet with ample tall mature trees. It did seem like one individual coming from the same site. It was calling at approximately 7:00 PM and did so several times before some neighbourhood dogs got into the act. Turn up the volume and listen to the attached link.
** It’s Friday and time to review the next week’s Sky-at-a-Glace courtesy of sky-guru Curt Nason, with Jupiter and Saturn creeping to a few degrees of one another and Mars as well in the evening sky.
Week’s Sky at a Glance, 2020 November 21 – November 28
Like Nate the pirate in the Overboard comics, some people do not want to let go of summer. I usually don’t succumb to the cold right away, waiting for -10 C before my winter coat gets worn regularly. But you have to accept the inevitable, so around 8:30 pm this week don your coat and imagination to say goodbye to the summer constellations as they sink below the western horizon.
The first thing you might notice is the Summer Triangle, balanced on Altair and tipping to the right. Aquila the Eagle, with Altair at its head, is flapping furiously and futilely to stay above ground, a battle it will lose over two hours. To its right, Hercules is diving head first, hopefully into a lake. Between them, if you are in the country, you might see the haze of the Milky Way spilling over the ground, perhaps to become frost. Four smaller constellations form a line above Altair, highlighted by Lyra to the right with its brilliant star Vega. Foxy Vulpecula, Sagitta the Arrow and eye-catching Delphinus the Dolphin are balanced across the eagle’s wingspan. While you are at it, try for the triangular head of Equuleus the Little Horse, who leads his big brother Pegasus by a nose.
This Week in the Solar System
Saturday’s sunrise in Moncton is at 7:28 am and sunset will occur at 4:40 pm, giving 9 hours, 12 minutes of daylight (7:31 am and 4:48 pm in Saint John). Next Saturday the Sun will rise at 7:37 am and set at 4:36 pm, giving 8 hours, 59 minutes of daylight (7:40 am and 4:44 pm in Saint John).
The Moon is at first quarter after midnight this Saturday night (12:45 Sunday morning), and it passes below Mars in the waxing gibbous phase on Wednesday. Jupiter creeps to within three degrees of Saturn over the week, setting around 8:30 pm midweek. Mars resembles a garnet gem among the dim stars of Pisces throughout the evening. Mercury remains visible in the morning sky, rising more than 75 minutes before sunrise to the lower left of Venus. The extended coma of comet C/2020 M3 ATLAS was a tough object to spot with a telescope in a suburban sky last weekend, but I also spotted C/2020 S3 Erasmus with binoculars as it passed through the constellation Corvus the Crow in the morning. By late week Erasmus will be directly below Spica and to the right of Venus.
With astronomy meetings and outreach activities on hold, you can watch the local Sunday Night Astronomy Show at 8 pm, and view archived shows, on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAEHfOWyL-kNH7dBVHK8spg
Questions? Contact Curt Nason at email@example.com.