NATURE MONCTON NATURE NEWS
Sept 23, 2022 (Friday)
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Edited by: Nelson Poirier email@example.com
**Leon Gagnon shares an excellent photo of a Baird’s Sandpiper he photographed in late August near Malbaie Sud Lagoon on Miscou Island, a shorebird we don’t often get to see. (Editor’s note: this species can be easily confused with the White-rumped Sandpiper. It is more buff brown and lacks the streaking that extends to the flanks leaving the white flank area. The small white patch on the forehead at the base of the bill is another clue. The whitish fringes on the upper parts suggest this bird to be a juvenile bird).
Leon was also able to get a a very quick photo of an Indigo Bunting in an aspen grove at Wilson Point on Miscou Island in early September, another species that we don’t often see in New Brunswick.
Leon had even more good fortune to have a Dickcissel visiting his yard accompanying American Goldfinch at his feeder and with White-throated Sparrows on the ground.
Leon tops all this with the finale of a beautiful Red-headed Woodpecker spotted on September 22 in Miscou Plains on the northern part of the island. It was frequently around a house bordering route 113 leading to the Miscou lighthouse.
**Bev Christie sends an excellent photograph of a Fishing a.k.a. Raft Spider that paid a visit to her daughter’s home.
Fishing spiders, in the genus Dolomedes, are often found near or on water, but they also wander forests and suburban landscapes and make startling appearances in homes and outbuildings. On more than one occasion, fishing spiders have greeted folks in the basement or when they opened the door of a tool shed. Fishing spiders do not build webs to capture prey. They actively hunt and consume a smorgasbord of aquatic and semiaquatic animals: vertebrates such as fish, tadpoles, and toads, and a wide variety of invertebrates, with damselflies, water striders, aquatic beetles, and midges commonly on the menu.
**It’s Friday in the day to review what next week’s night sky may have in store for us courtesy of sky guru Curt Nason:
Week’s Sky at a Glance, 2022 September 24 – October 1
This is a good time of year to double your sky observing time. For the next
several weeks, before we return to Standard Time, the sky is dark and the stars
are blazing when most people are up to start their day, and it is not bitterly
cold or snowbound. Orion and his dogs are prominent to the south, with Taurus, Auriga and Gemini arching over them.
In early evening you can see the 4th, 5th and 6th brightest stars. Look for
yellow Arcturus sinking to the west, blue-white Vega
overhead and Capella in Auriga rising in the northeast. Later, notice the
positions of the circumpolar Big Dipper, Little Dipper and
Cassiopeia. The next morning go outside and see how they
have changed. Sometimes it is nice to have a little assurance that the world
keeps right on turning.
This Week in the Solar System
Saturday’s sunrise in Moncton is at 7:08 am and sunset will occur at 7:12 pm,
giving 12 hours, 4 minutes of daylight (7:13 am and 7:17 pm in Saint John).
Next Saturday the Sun will rise at 7:17 am and set at 6:59 pm, giving 11 hours,
42 minutes of daylight (7:22 am and 7:04 pm in Saint John). On
Sunday we are closest to equal daylight and night, with 12 hours, 58 seconds of daylight.
The new Moon phase occurs on Saturday, a time for observing galaxies, star
clusters and nebulae which are known collectively as deep sky objects. Saturn
is in the south at 10:30 pm, and about 7 degrees above it telescope users might
see its deep sky lookalike, the planetary nebula NGC 7009, also called the
Saturn Nebula. Jupiter is at opposition on Monday, making its closest approach
to Earth in six decades. Mars has moved to about halfway between the V-shaped
face of Taurus the Bull and its horn tips. Having just passed inferior
conjunction, by Friday Mercury will be rising an hour before sunrise. Venus
rises in bright twilight a half-hour before sunrise. This week and next, people
in rural areas have an opportunity to spot the subtle wedge of zodiacal light
in the east before morning twilight.
Public observing for the Kouchibouguac Fall Star Fest on September 23-24 has
been cancelled due to forecast stormy weather. Public observing to celebrate
Fall Astronomy Day is scheduled for October 1 at the Irving Nature Park in
Saint John. Check the Facebook page for park or the Saint John Astronomy Club
website for details.
Questions? Contact Curt Nason at firstname.lastname@example.org.