NATURE MONCTON INFORMATION LINE, Feb, 23 2021 (Tuesday)
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Edited by: Nelson Poirier firstname.lastname@example.org
Transcript by Susan Richards email@example.com
Info Line #: 506-384-6397 (384-NEWS)
**Last Friday and Sunday Suzanne and Yves Poussart enjoyed the nice weather exploring the coast. As a result of the recent cold temperatures and extent of the coastal ice has now significantly increased and the usual marine birds are now only found in the open waters close to the Foch Bridge in Shediac and the Little Bouctouche River Bridge at the South end of Bouctouche. At these two sites good numbers of BARROW'S GOLDENEYE [Garrot d'Islande] COMMON GOLDENEYE [Garrot à oeil d'or] and COMMON MERGANSER [Grand Harle] were the main species present. The nice quality of light provided excellent conditions to take many photos and some of them are attached. In Shediac, Yves could get photos of a female Common Merganser just after a successful dive for a fish meal. Note in the clear photo how the sawtooth bill of this species grasps its fish prey, appearing like it may be a Smelt.
**Susan and Fred Richards spent the day Sunday exploring the Tantramar Marsh to enjoy the HORNED LARK [Alouette hausse-col] so many have enjoyed it there the past week. They also saw a few LAPLAND LONGSPUR [Bruant lapon]. There were SNOW BUNTING [Bruant des neiges] flipping about, with a pleasant 15 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS [Jaseur boréal] perched in a tree on the south side of the marsh being tossed in the wind which grew stronger as the day grew late. Only 1 RING-NECKED PHEASANT [Faisan de Colchide] was seen but it represented the species. They comment ‘a great way to spend a sunny pleasant day’.
**Jane LeBlanc’s male NORTHERN CARDINAL [Cardinal rouge] has returned to join the female after a 10-day absence. She wonders if they are really a pair or clutch-mates. Wondering if the grey in the feathering could mean it is molting or a sign of any certain age or is it just very variability? With the recent cardinal influx into New Brunswick this may be interesting to know. Any comments would be appreciated.
**Brian Coyle got some excellent track/trail photos made by a FISHER [pêcheur] which is not a commonly encountered animal in Southern New Brunswick. Brian knows it was a Fisher as he got portions of the animal on his trail camera to firmly identify it as a Fisher, as it investigated a BOBCAT [Lynx roux] marker Brian had his trail camera aimed on. If the camera had been slightly to the right, he would have had a photo of the complete animal. I am attaching several photos as this is a track/trail we will not see much of in Southeastern New Brunswick.
**Mike Batog in Mckees Mills came across a trail and tracks in snow that are open to ideas. It appears to be canine tracks as if dragging something but there was no sign of blood, feathers or fur. As always, with uncertain tracks or trails, comments would be appreciated.
**Brain Stone did some serious track sleuthing on Monday behind Crandell University. One set appears to be a WEASEL with it popping in and out of under-snow tunnels and the spaced track prints, consisting of four paws in one print (or nearly so). Another group seemed to be feline, probably BOBCAT but close together as if hunting. (Editor’s note: great to see a scale being used) Another trail would be a rule-out for a squirrel. Animal tracks in the snow are often a best guess unless convincing other evidence is noted.
Brian also photographed a nest that would appear to be suspended, as that a Vireo would construct.
**Andrew Darcy received some feedback from the Ring-Necked Pheasant photo that he posted yesterday and he was wondering about that bird for sure. It appears as though it is a potential hybrid Ring-Necked Pheasant cross Green Pheasant (aka Japanese Pheasant) and not an immature male Ring-Necked Pheasant. Interesting bird. He suspects there may be some captive escapees in that area. That photo is reposted today and Andrew comments it may be notable for teaching purposes.
**Pat heard a noise on our camp deck on Monday morning. To her surprise, a WEASEL [Belette à courte queue] was very impatiently working on a plastic bag of butcher shop meat cutting sawdust mentioned in yesterday’s edition to attract CANADA JAY [Mésangeai du Canada]. I had put some in a net sack on our yard tree yesterday and surprised to see not a trace of it next morning. The taker soon revealed itself on the deck trying to open a plastic bag of the same left on the deck for replenishing. It allowed for a quick through-the-window photo. We appear to notice not a single Deer Mouse was in the traps in the camp which always seemed to have been a few patrons in the past. I expect the Weasel enjoyed the camp Deer Mice as well as the new-found treat of meat-cutting sawdust.
**My nephew Larry Sherrard and I erected 2 Saw-whet Owl [vu la petite chouette] boxes on a back road near Sunny Corner where I had been hearing a Saw-whet Owl tooting every spring.
Take note of the ladder being used; this is the great aluminum telescopic ladder used and recommended by Roger Leblanc. It is the first time that we used it (an Amazon purchase). It’s light, very sturdy, extendible, slides down into an easily carried package and look forward to using it for TREE SWALLOW [Hirondelle bicolore] box care in April. We also took note of the tracks of feline, probably BOBCAT and SNOWSHOE HARE [Lièvre d'Amérique].