Friday, 14 January 2022

Jan 14 2022

NATURE MONCTON NATURE INFORMATION LINE 

Jan 14, 2022 (Friday)

 

To respond by e-mail, please address your message to the information line editor,  nelsonpoirier435@gmail.com .

 

Please advise the editor at nelsonpoirier435@gmail.com  if any errors are noted in wording or photo labelling.


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

 

Edited by: Nelson Poirier nelsonpoirier435@gmail.com

 

 

 **Many of the waxwing reports coming in so far has been Cedar Waxwing. Krista Doyle photographed a group of Bohemian Waxwings at her Lewis Mountain home on Thursday. The distinct undertail Chestnut coverts of this species shows up very well in Krista’s photograph.

 

**Kathie Carter advises that the Western Tanager did not survive the cold spell. She made it through the storm and one day of freezing weather but did not show up at all Wednesday. She took shelter in the neighbour’s huge ornamental evergreen. When Kathie went out to top up the feeders around 2:00 pm Thursday there were feathers blown across the lawn from one side to the other. Close examination led her to believe they were from the tanager. There were fresh cat tracks leading to and from the evergreen next door. No signs of struggle or  blood.  Kathie comments “I’ll miss seeing that bright yellow beak out there”. 

 

**Georges Brun got a few nice action photos of a very healthy looking Red Fox making those signature leaps as it hunted on the marsh across from Halls Creek. It’s a good sign as there must be a Meadow Vole\Shrew presence that could keep a few Short-eared Owls content as well.

 

**Suzanne and Yves Poussart drove between Shediac and Bouctouche on Thursday January 13. The only site where open water was available for birds was found under the bridge at the south end of Bouctouche. This location was the only site where birds were seen because all the other sites were completely covered with ice. Three species for a total of approximately 150 individuals were observed in equal proportions and photographed from the bridge: 

COMMON GOLDENEYE (Garrot à œil d'or), BARROW'S GOLDENEYE (Garrot d'Islande) and COMMON MERGANSER (Grand Harle).  Males and females of each of them were present. (Editors note: note the complete orange bill of the adult female Barrow’s Goldeneye).

 It is quite striking to realize the impact of the very cold days we experienced since the beginning of the week as ice was essentially missing everywhere just 3 days before. 

 

**For a few days, Yvette Richard has a Sharp-shinned Hawk preying on her regular visitors.

On Wednesday, it fed on a Rock Pigeon for over 3 hours and it

 came back Thursday morning to finish off the carcass. (Editors note: a pigeon is large prey for a Sharp-shinned Hawk so assumedly this is the larger female)

On Friday afternoon, it preyed on a Blue Jay.

The Mourning Doves seem oblivious. Yvette assumes they are next on the prey list.

 

**Sterling Marsh has not seen his male pheasant troupe in over a week, but a female did join his regularly expected patrons on Thursday.

 

 

 

**Lois Budd shares her birdfeeder action and feeders. Her homemade peanut butter log is a popular destination and photographed a White-breasted Nuthatch enjoying it. She also finds the hanging branches of white millet she purchases in bulk is popular with sparrows. Pine Siskin have arrived and also her first European Starling that she is hoping it doesn’t share the news of her site with its friends.

 

** Jane LeBlanc has had her PURPLE FINCH numbers increase as soon as there was snow on the ground in her St. Martins yard. They join many MOURNING DOVES, Black-capped Chickadees and BLUE JAYS.

 

**Daryl Doucet photographed a duo of male Ring-necked Pheasants perched on his yard fence ready to check out the menu in his feeder yard on Thursday afternoon. They were also checking out frozen raspberries still clinging to vines.

 

**We routinely have House Finch as patrons to our Moncton feeder yard. A pair briefly posed at the same feeder Thursday to show the plumage of the genders. The female is relatively bland with the male showing more colour but its plumage tends to vary somewhat.

 

**It’s Friday and time to review what we may be able to look for in next week’s night sky courtesy of sky guru Curt Nason:

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, 2022 January 15 – January 22
There is one river seen from New Brunswick that is completely ice-free all winter, but we can only see it on clear nights. Eridanus the River, the fifth largest constellation in area of the sky, has its head just off the foot of Orion near Rigel. Even when it is at its highest in our sky, the river’s meandering path takes it more than ten degrees below the horizon to where it terminates at Achernar, the ninth brightest star.

In mythology the river is associated with Phaethon, a mortal son of Apollo. Apollo drove the Sun, a golden chariot powered by mighty steeds, across the sky by day. Phaethon was allowed to drive it one day but he couldn’t control the steeds. They ran amok, scorching the sky (the Milky Way) and the Earth (Sahara), until Zeus blasted Phaethon with a thunderbolt and he fell to his death in the river. The asteroid 3200 Phaethon, which is the source of the Geminid meteor shower in December, orbits from outside Mars to within the orbit of Mercury and is one of the Apollo family of Earth-crossing asteroids. The twisty constellation Eridanus was also considered to be the path of souls.

Although we can’t see Achernar without travelling to Florida, there is a notable star in Eridanus that we can see from outside a city. Omicron-2 Eridani, also called 40 Eridani or Keid (circled on the map), has a famous fictional and fascinating planet: Vulcan, the home of Spock. Did you know that there was once believed to be a planet closer to the Sun than Mercury? It was named Vulcan after the Roman god of fire, metalworking, and the forge. Anomalies in Mercury’s orbit were thought to be due to an interior planet, and some astronomers even claimed to have seen it crossing the Sun. The anomalies of Mercury’s orbit were finally explained by some guy named Einstein in his General Theory of Relativity. Coincidentally, regarding the god Vulcan, the constellation Fornax the Furnace barely crests our horizon near Eridanus.

This Week in the Solar System
Saturday’s sunrise in Moncton is at 7:57 am and sunset will occur at 5:00 pm, giving 9 hours, 3 minutes of daylight (7:59 am and 5:07 pm in Saint John). Next Saturday the Sun will rise at 7:52 am and set at 5:09 pm, giving 9 hours, 17 minutes of daylight (7:54 am and 5:17 pm in Saint John).

The smallest full Moon of the year, the Puny Moon, occurs on Monday. At midweek Mercury sets around 5:50 pm, followed by Saturn at 6:15 and Jupiter at 8:00. Venus rises an hour before sunrise this Saturday, an hour behind Mars. By spring the planetary action will have shifted to the morning sky.

On Sunday evening at 8 pm, tune in to the Sunday Night Astronomy Show via the Facebook page or YouTube channel of Astronomy by the Bay.

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

 

 

 

Nelsonpoirier435@gmail.com

Nelson Poirier

Nature Moncton


                                                                                           

BARROW'S GOLDENEYE DUCKS. JAN 13, 2021. YVES POUSSART


COMMON AND BARROW'S GOLDENEYE AND COMMON MERGANSER. JAN 13, 2021. YVES POUSSART


COMMON GOLDENEYE DUCKS (MALES). JAN 13, 2021. YVES POUSSART

COMMON MERGANSERS (MOSTLY). JAN 13, 2021. YVES POUSSART

HOUSE FINCH (PAIR). JAN 13, 2022. NELSON POIRIER

HOUSE FINCH (MALE). JAN 13, 2022. NELSON POIRIER

BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS. JAN 13, 2022. KRISTA DOYLE

WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH. JAN 13, 2022.  LOIS BUDD

WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH. JAN 13, 2022.  LOIS BUDD

AMERICAN TREE SPARROW TO MILLET. JAN 13, 2022. LOIS BUDD

FEEDERS. JAN 13, 2022. LOIS BUDD

PINE SISKIN. JAN 13, 2022. LOIS BUDD

PURPLE FINCHES. JAN. 11, 2022. JANE LEBLANC

MOURNING DOVE. JAN 13, 2022. YVETTE RICHARD

RING-NECKED PHEASANT (FEMALE), JAN 13, 2022. STERLING MARSH

RING-NECKED PHEASANTS (MALE). JAN 13, 2022. DARYL DOUCET

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK. JAN 13 , 2022. YVETTE RICHARD

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK. JAN 13 , 2022. YVETTE RICHARD

RED FOX. JAN 13, 2022.  GEORGES BRUN

RED FOX. JAN 13, 2022.  GEORGES BRUN

Eridanus