Friday, 19 January 2018

Jan 19 2018

NATURE MONCTON INFORMATION LINE, January 19, 2018 (Friday)



Please advise editor at nelson@nb.sympatico.ca if any errors are noted in wording or photo labeling.

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

Edited by: Nelson Poirier nelson@nb.sympatico.ca
Transcript by: Louise Nichols nicholsl@eastlink.ca
Info Line # 506-384-6397 (384-NEWS)
To respond by e-mail, please address your message to the information line editor nelson@nb.sympatico.ca.

** A last heads-up for the Nature Moncton birding field trip on for tomorrow, Saturday.  All details at the website.

** Gary Dupuis captured an excellent photo of a SNOWY OWL [Harfang des neiges] perched on a post on the High Marsh Rd. on the Tantramar Marsh on Thursday.  It is very predominantly white with little evidence of any barring or dark markings.  It used to be that we tended to call very clean white specimens males, but it is my understanding that it has been shown in recent years from work in Saskatchewan that this may not be a reliable indicator of gender.  No matter what the gender actually is, this is a very beautiful specimen Gary photographed on Thursday.

** Sterling Marsh travelled along the Folkins Dr. on the Tantramar Marsh on Thursday to observe a flock of 30 to 40 HORNED LARKS [Alouette hausse-col] as well as a large flock of AMERICAN CROWS [Corneille d'Amérique].

** Brian Coyle made a snowshoe hike near his lower Mountain Rd. home on Thursday, specifically in search of COYOTE [Coyote] signs.  He found lots of tracks, thinking they were approximately 4 hours old, and he got some nice clear photos of the paw prints, especially as some of the slush they had stepped in was frozen.  Note the two front toe pads showing a nail print which is often the case with the Coyotes as the remaining ones tend to be worn.  Also note the central cone area between the toe pads and the lack of hairy paw that a fox would show.  Brian followed four individual sets of tracks into the forest to see if he could find where they bedded down to find one definite area.  Note all the tracks surrounding the bared area.  Brian also found where four RUFFED GROUSE [Gélinotte huppée] had spent the night under the snow as they often do.  He saw no plunge holes, just the exit holes and trails due to the fresh snowfall of the night before.  Nice observations to be thinking of to prepare for the Nature Moncton Track Workshop on Feb. 3rd, with the write-up for that on the website.

** Maurice Richard spotted a good sized RED FOX [Renard roux] on Jones Lake on Thursday.  He got a photograph but colour was limited as the sun was on the other side of the animal.  It seemed to be trying to get off the lake, being very cautious of any open water or thin ice along the edge.  It tended to double back and forth once it got in the bush area on the lake side on Hillcrest Dr.

** Brian Stone got some nice photos of some waterfowl in breeding plumage and paired, ready for the season ahead in the Halifax area on Thursday to include NORTHERN PINTAIL [Canard pilet], HOODED MERGANSER [Harle couronné], AMERICAN WIGEON [Canard d'Amérique], and MALLARDS [Canard colvert].

** This week’s Sky-at-a-Glance is added to this edition, courtesy of Curt Nason, with some clear nights ahead to see it all.

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, January 20 – January 27

There is one river seen from New Brunswick that is completely ice-free
all winter, but we can only see it at night. Eridanus the River, the
fifth largest constellation in area of 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 twisty
constellation 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. This was about 150 years ago, after Neptune
was predicted and discovered based on anomalies in the orbit of Uranus.
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 7:54 am and sunset will occur at
5:07 pm, giving 9 hours, 13 minutes of daylight (7:56 am and 5:14 pm in
Saint John). Next Saturday the Sun will rise at 7:47 am and set at 5:17
pm, giving 9 hours, 30 minutes of daylight (7:50 am and 5:24 pm in Saint
John).

The Moon is at first quarter on Wednesday, giving great views in a
telescope of its craters and mountains all week. Jupiter and Mars are
well-placed in the south for morning observing, and Saturn rises almost
two hours before sunrise. Mercury is heading sunward and is difficult to
pick out with binoculars.

Questions? Contact Curt Nason at
nasonc@nbnet.nb.ca.
Nelson Poirier,
Nature Moncton
 
COYOTE BEDDING AREA. JAN18 2018. BRIAN COYLE 

COYOTE BEDDING AREA. JAN18 2018. BRIAN COYLE 

COYOTE PAW PRINT. JAN18 2018. BRIAN COYLE 

COYOTE PAW PRINT. JAN18 2018. BRIAN COYLE 

CROWS.JAN 18 2018.STERLING MARSH

Eridanus

HOODED MERGANSER. JAN. 18, 2018.  BRIAN STONE

HORNED LARK. JAN 18 2018.STERLING MARSH

HORNED LARKS. JAN 18 2018.STERLING MARSH

NORTHERN PINTAIL (FEMALE). JAN. 18, 2018. BRIAN STONE

NORTHERN PINTAIL PAIR. JAN. 18, 2018. BRIAN STONE

NORTHERN PINTAIL PAIR. JAN. 18, 2018. BRIAN STONE



RED FOX ON JONES LAKE. JAN 18, 2018. MAURICE RICHARD 


RED FOX ON JONES LAKE. JAN 18, 2018. MAURICE RICHARD 

SNOWY OWL. JAN 18, 2018. GARY DUPUIS

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Jan 18 2018

 
 
NATURE MONCTON INFORMATION LINE, January 18, 2018 ( Thursday )
 

To respond by e-mail, please address your message to the information line editor, 
nelson@nb.sympatico.ca . Please advise if any errors are noted in wording or photo labeling.

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

 
Edited by: Nelson Poirier nelson@nb.sympatico.ca
Transcript by: Brian Stone bjpstone@gmail.com
Info Line # 506-384-6397 (384-NEWS)

 
** A reminder of the Nature Moncton birding field trip scheduled for just two days away on Saturday, January 20, led by Roger Leblanc. Details are on the website which can be checked at www.naturemoncton.com and is described in more detail under “Upcoming Events” for January. Webmaster Kat Atkinson has updated the website as of Wednesday evening, so take a moment to review the other upcoming activities and presentations coming up.
 
** Brian Coyle reports that his feeder yard on Lower Mountain Rd. has become very active. He still has one female YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER [Paruline à croupion jaune] as a regular, two BROWN CREEPERS [Grimpereau brun], two HAIRY WOODPECKERS [Pic chevelu], one DOWNY WOODPECKER [Pic mineur], two RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES [Sittelle à poitrine rousse], a dozen BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES [Mésange à tête noire], thirty plus AMERICAN GOLDFINCH [Chardonneret jaune] and a half dozen BLUE JAYS [Geai bleu]. Brian must be setting out a very attractive buffet. The Yellow-rumped Warbler is coming to peanut butter. The two Brown Creepers are not coming to any offered items, but like the spruce tree bark in Brian's yard and are often foraging at that site.
 
** Brian Stone came across a small nest in a Lilac bush approximately five feet ( 1.5 meters ) off the ground. There is a significant spider web component. It was suspended by two "straps". The exterior is shingled with strips of birch bark. This would seem consistent with a Vireo nest but I understand that the American Redstart can use similar construction methods. Any comments would be appreciated.
 
** Lynda LeClerc gave a presentation on a recent trip to Arizona on Member's Night that had some photos from the Paton Center for Hummingbirds. They have a great site with a live cam and videos and photos of hummingbirds. You can visit it by going to the attached link and exploring the several clickable options. Enjoy.
 

 
 ** The Nature Moncton Member's Night was very successful on Tuesday night ... maybe a bit too successful. All the discussion led to running out of time to have Mike Plourde give his presentation on trail cameras and Shirley for her presentation. Both of these presenters have said that they would give their presentations in the second half of next month's meeting.
 
Nelson Poirier,
Nature Moncton

NEST (suspect vireo). JAN. 17, 2018. BRIAN STONE

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Jan 16 2018

 
 
 
 
NATURE MONCTON INFORMATION LINE, January 16, 2018 ( Tuesday )
 
To respond by e-mail, please address your message to the information line editor, 
nelson@nb.sympatico.ca . Please advise if any errors are noted in wording or photo labeling.

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

 
Edited by: Nelson Poirier nelson@nb.sympatico.ca
Transcript by: Brian Stone bjpstone@gmail.com
Info Line # 506-384-6397 (384-NEWS)

 
** Tonight, Tuesday night, January 16, is Nature Moncton's member's night to be held at 7:00 pm at the Mapleton Park Rotary Lodge across from Cabela's. Vice President Gordon Rattray will be chairing the meeting and has presentations lined up on trail camera use, Nature N.B. activities, ticks in N.B., marsh monitoring for shorebirds, a recent Arizona trip and any late presentations yet to come. If you have an item to share just bring it along, or bring photos on a flash drive. Kat Atkinson will have the projector and a laptop set up, ready to go, and will operate it for your presentation.
 
** Ray Gauvin has a regular NORTHERN FLICKER [Pic flamboyant] patron to his Shediac feeder yard. Ray took a short video of it as it perched on a branch on Monday. Take a look at the video, at the attached link, and note the very long tongue that woodpeckers use to go into holes to forage for insects.

 ** Gordon Rattray took a few photos of his Weldon feeder yard birds on Monday. His AMERICAN GOLDFINCH [Chardonneret jaune] patrons have jumped to forty or fifty from the twenty of recent days. He also got his one lone, hard to photograph, AMERICAN TREE SPARROW [Bruant hudsonien]. He didn't see his BROWN CREEPER [Grimpereau brun] on Monday, but it drops by for a snack most days.
 
** I usually have about a dozen AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS [Bruant hudsonien] as feeder patrons. When they first arrive white millet is always their first choice and then they find the sunflower chips in the feeders and just recently several are very much enjoying straight peanut butter. The lone SONG SPARROW [Bruant chanteur] is now seeing them at the peanut butter and is following suit. The heated waterer is in constant use. 
 
 
Nelson Poirier,
Nature Moncton
 
AMERICAN GOLDFINCH. JAN 15, 2018. GORDON RATTRAY

AMERICAN TREE SPARROW AND BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE TO PEANUT BUTTER. JAN 15, 2018. NELSON POIRIER

AMERICAN TREE SPARROW  TO PEANUT BUTTER. JAN 15, 2018. NELSON POIRIER

AMERICAN TREE SPARROW TO PEANUT BUTTER. JAN 15, 2018. NELSON POIRIER

AMERICAN TREE SPARROW. JAN 15, 2018. GORDON RATTRAY

DOWNY WOODPECKER. JAN 15, 2018. GORDON RATTRAY

NORTHERN FLICKER. JAN 15, 2018. NELSON POIRIER

RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH. JAN 15, 2018. GORDON RATTRAY

Monday, 15 January 2018

Jan 15 2018

 
 
 
NATURE MONCTON INFORMATION LINE, Jan. 15, 2017 (Monday)

 
To respond by e-mail, please address your message to the information line editor nelson@nb.sympatico.ca
   Please advise if any errors are noted in wording or photo labeling.
 
For more information on Nature Moncton, check the website at www.naturemoncton.com
 
 
Edited by: Nelson Poirier nelson@nb.sympatico.ca
Transcript by: David Christie maryspt@mac.com
Info Line # 506-384-6397 (384-NEWS)
 
 
**    Nature Moncton has a birding field trip scheduled for next Saturday, January 20.  Activities Committee chair person, Louise Nichols, has prepared the attached write-up.
 
BIRDING FIELD TRIP WITH ROGER LEBLANC
Date:  Saturday, Jan. 20th
Time and Place:  Meet at 8:00 AM in the parking lot behind the Burger King, Champlain Place, off Paul St.
Secondary Meeting Place: 8:30 at the Big Lobster in Shediac
Interested in possibly seeing a white morph Gyrfalcon, sea ducks and other winter birds?  Join us on Saturday for an outing guided by our own Roger Leblanc.  We will meet behind the Burger King at Champlain Place, then travel to the Big Lobster in Shediac where others closer to that area can join the group.  After checking the birds under the bridge, the group will head up to Bouctouche to try our luck at locating the Gyrfalcon that has been hunting in that area in recent weeks.  Next, we will travel back down the coast, stopping at various wharfs and open water to look for sea ducks and other potential winter birds like waxwings, Northern Shrike, Snow Buntings and whatever else Mother Nature in her winter dress will be kind enough to offer.  Finally, we will stop back in Shediac and, if we have time, do some more birding around there.  Come along and take advantage of the opportunity to see some good winter birds and to benefit from Roger’s birding knowledge as he will explain why some species are where they are at this time of year and how that in turn attracts predators like the Gyrfalcon.
No registration required for this outing.  Bring a lunch and dress warmly.  All are welcome, Nature Moncton member or not.
 
**    Nature Moncton’s January meeting is set for tomorrow night, Tuesday at 7 o’clock, at the Mapleton Rotary Lodge, across from Cabela’s. It’s the annual Members Night, with various short presentations by members and friends. There is still room for late additions. Bring a flash drive with material to share with the group or whatever else you may have to share.
 
John Foster reports that Daryl Doucette's Fox sparrow is now also coming to his Frampton Lane feeders as well but puts the run to the Field Sparrow when it arrives. John was able to capture a photo of its visit.

The recent weather system hit Kent County area harder in some areas than the Moncton area. Debbie Batog sends some photos of ice on trees, some unimpressed Mourning Doves, and Bald Eagles on the ice of the river at McKees Mills.
 
 
Nelson Poirier,
Nature Moncton
 
 
BALD EAGLES ON RIVER. JAN 14, 2018.DEBBIE BATOG

FOX SPARROW.JAN 15, 2018.JOHN FOSTER

ICE. JAN 14, 2018. DEBBIE BATOG

MOURNING DOVES. JAN 14, 2018. DEBBIE BATOG

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Jan 14 2018

NATURE MONCTON INFORMATION LINE, Jan. 14, 2017 (Sunday)

 To respond by e-mail, please address your message to the information line editor nelson@nb.sympatico.ca
   Please advise if any errors are noted in wording or photo labeling.
For more information on Nature Moncton, check the website at www.naturemoncton.com
Edited by: Nelson Poirier nelson@nb.sympatico.ca
Transcript by: David Christie maryspt@mac.com
Info Line # 506-384-6397 (384-NEWS)
**     Three of us went to the LITTLE RAY’S TRAVELLING ZOO exhibit on Saturday. It is running again today, Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Moncton Coliseum. There is a variety of reptiles, birds and mammals in excellent displays. There are two 30-minute stage presentations which are very interesting and informative. If attending, I suggest that you step to the side of the stage to hear well because acoustics in the Coliseum make it almost impossible to hear what is said, if sitting in front of the stage. A few photos are attached of a SLOTH [praecox] that is a very interesting animal and a star of the show, and also of a TORTOISE [torque] eating its lunch. Brian Stone was there and got 59 great photos that can be viewed at the attached link
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/lqroazkjsywkta0/AABwLzWBHSATUnYxrC-FvKmJa?dl=0     Click on one photo to make it full screen and then use the arrows to go to the next photo.  All animals on display are rescued or bred in captivity, with nothing taken from the wild. The owl is one from Eurasia, not a native owl.
**   Ron Steeves watched a scenario unfold during Saturday’s weather event. With all the thawing and flooding, it was interesting to watch the intervale across from his house, as it got covered with water. It seems that there was a good crop of mice and voles last fall. This intervale floods during winter or spring but Ron has never witnessed the BALD EAGLES [Pygargue à tête blanche] having such a field day getting something to eat. A pair of adult birds were cruising the area and had very little trouble finding a mouse or vole that had drowned and was floating or one that was trying to raft to safety on a piece of ice or floating wood and ran out of luck. Ron estimated that the eagles consumed at least 12 to 15 rodents during the afternoon. I suspect that flooding has displaced rodents in other areas so that this scenario probably was repeated elsewhere.
A discouraging aspect of all this flooding is that the new walking trail around the decommissioned old Salisbury lagoon was taking a beating as water was rapidly running over it  at several locations.
   Ron also had a female NORTHERN GOSHAWK [] in his yard on Saturday, chasing the feeder birds, mostly MOURNING DOVES [Tourterelle triste]. Ron comments that she had better leave his pheasants alone, or it could mean war. Goshawks do have a taste for pheasant, Ron!
**   Lisa Morris enjoyed watching the sun rise over Jones Lake on Friday morning, from the corner of Mount Royal Boulevard and Westmount. Chances are the snow in her photo has disappeared but it will probably be replaced.
**   The sudden mild weather and disappearance of snow from the ground has surely changed the activity around bird feeders as birds were able to forage for ground items in areas not covered by snow. Dave Christie comments that the AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS [Bruant hudsonien] and DARK-EYED JUNCOS [Junco ardoisé] disappeared from his yard on Saturday, with mainly just a few AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES [Chardonneret jaune] coming in. This will undoubtedly change with the return of cold weather and no doubt snow.
Nelson Poirier,
Nature Moncton
 
SLOTH. JAN 13, 2018.NELSON POIRIER

SUNRISE OVER JONES LAKE.JAN 12, 2018. LISA MORRIS

TORTOISE JAN 13, 2018.NELSON POIRIER

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Jan 13 2018

Nature Moncton Information Line (Saturday, January 13, 2018)


To respond by email, please address your message to the Information Line Editor, nelson@nb.sympatico.ca

Please advise the Editor 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 nelson@nb.sympatico.ca
Transcript by: Catherine Clements
Info Line #: 506-384-6397 (384-NEWS)

**Lois Budd captured an interesting photo of three and possibly four species of waterfowl in one frame at the Cocagne Bridge on Friday. Note the BARROW'S GOLDENEYE [Garrot d'Islande] to the left – the females with their totally orange bills, the ‘piano-key’ marking on the male, and the characteristic steep forehead of this species. A male COMMON GOLDENEYE [Garrot à oeil d'or] is in the middle with more slanted forehead and no piano-key markings. To the right are two Mergansers [Harle]. The first one appears to be a female COMMON MERGANSER [Grand Harle]; the last one rather suggests a female RED-BREASTED MERGANSER [Harle huppé]. Their highlight of the day was seeing the GYRFALCON [Faucon gerfaut] at Bouctouche, getting a front-row seat of it harassing ROCK PIGEONS [Pigeon biset] to the rear of the Tim Horton’s location and Auberge Bouctouche.

**Louise Nichols took a hike on one of the Sackville trails on Friday to be rewarded with three special bird species: two GRAY JAYS [Mésangeai du Canada], a BOREAL CHICKADEE [Mésange à tête brune], and 20+ WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS [Bec-croisé bifascié]. Louise comments the Crossbills were very vocal and enjoying their day. We just commented a few days ago that Crossbills seemed to be scarce – maybe that’s about to change. Lots of BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES [Mésange à tête noire] and RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES [Sittelle à poitrine rousse] were about as well.

**Georges Brun got nice action photos, as he often does, from the walking bridge over Hall’s Creek near the Settlers’ Landing cairn by Chateau Moncton. One photo shows a CROW [Corneille] perched in the middle with a COYOTE [Coyote] off to the left and a BALD EAGLE [Pygargue à tête blanche] perched in the distant right. The Coyote appears to be in excellent condition. Soon after, he noted the SHORT-EARED OWL [Hibou des marais] perched on a stump not far from the Coyote, who seemed much more interested in potential rodent prey than the Owl. It did get approximately 100 Crows to lift from the area. Georges comments he walked the area on January 11th and saw very little evidence of rodent tunnels. A small FOX [Renard] also is roaming the area, so lots of wildlife on this marsh area.

**Little Ray's travelling Reptile Zoo is on at the Moncton Coliseum today Saturday and tomorrow Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. I often wonder why this is labelled a reptile show, as there is so much more on display, with nothing taken from the wild. There are exceptionally well-delivered educational talks to help people appreciate wildlife, and is very recommended to anyone with naturalist interests.

Nelson Poirier
Nature Moncton


BARROW'S GOLDENEYE, COMMON GOLDENEYE, AND COMMON MERGANSER. JAN 12, 2018.LOIS BUDD


BOREAL CHICKADEE. LOUISE NICHOLS. JAN. 12, 2018

COYOTE JAN 11 2018 GEO BRUN 

COYOTE, CROW, and EAGLE JAN 11 2018 GEORGES BRUN 


CROWS JAN 11 2018 GEORGES BRUN

GRAY JAY. LOUISE NICHOLS. JAN. 12, 2018

SHORT-EARED OWL JAN 11 2018 GEORGES BRUN 


WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL. LOUISE NICHOLS. JAN. 12, 2018.

WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL. LOUISE NICHOLS. JAN. 12, 2018.

WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL. LOUISE NICHOLS. JAN. 12, 2018.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Jan 12 2018

NATURE MONCTON INFORMATION LINE, January 12, 2018 (Friday)


Please advise editor at nelson@nb.sympatico.ca if any errors are noted in wording or photo labeling.

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

Edited by: Nelson Poirier nelson@nb.sympatico.ca
Transcript by: Louise Nichols nicholsl@eastlink.ca
Info Line # 506-384-6397 (384-NEWS)
To respond by e-mail, please address your message to the information line editor nelson@nb.sympatico.ca.

** A note just in on Friday morning from Bev Schneider who was with a small group watching for the GYRFALCON [Faucon gerfaut] at Bouctouche.  Bev reports she did see it, but very briefly, after a ROCK PIGEON [Pigeon biset], but doesn’t think it scored, so hopefully it will be seen again in the beautiful warm sunny conditions there today.  Interesting to hear it is remaining in that general area.

** Again a reminder to members and friends of Nature Moncton to prepare short 10 to 20 minute presentations on any nature item they would like to share for the Nature Moncton Members’ Night meeting next Tuesday night, January 16th.  President Susan has postponed the Annual General Meeting which will leave more time for presentations.  Advise Susan at susand@nbnet.nb.ca or Vice-president Gordon Rattray at gordonr@nbnet.nb.ca if you have something to share.

** Nature NB has a #MyNatureNB contest where we can vote for a favourite entry.  It is easily accessible at http://www.naturenb.ca/mynaturenb-photo-and-storytelling-contest/.  You can click on your favourite and vote.  Nature Sud-est in Shediac had a lot to do with the story behind the mushroom photo.

** Danny and Nicole Sullivan and Brian and Annette Stone did a run to the Tantramar Marsh on Thursday.  They found it fairly quiet, seeing a distant adult BALD EAGLE [Pygargue à tête blanche] and a distant ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK [Buse pattue].  Brian comments that some of the roads had small but rock hard snow drifts across them to make them impassible at the moment.  A stop at the Sackville Waterfowl Park showed some obvious nests with the foliage gone and a content-appearing AMERICAN ROBIN [Merle d'Amérique].

** It’s that time of year when we often see more HORNED LARKS [Alouette hausse-col].  Aldo Dorio photographed a lone Horned Lark on Thursday at Hay Island.

** There has not been a wave of PINE GROSBEAKS [Durbec des sapins] or BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS [Jaseur boréal] arrive in New Brunswick as yet; however Jill Greening from Saskatchewan who follows the Nature Moncton BlogSpot reports she had approximately 100 Pine Grosbeaks in her yard until they completely cleaned her crab apple tree of clinging fruit.

** This week’s Sky-at-a-Glance is added to this edition, courtesy of Curt Nason, pointing out it’s time to look for Orion and, from there, find several other January sky highlights.

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, January 13 – January 20

With Orion’s hourglass figure now above the horizon after sunset, the
giant hunter waits an hour or so for his two dogs to get up before he
starts hunting. The first to greet the night is Canis Minor the Little
Dog, a small constellation highlighted by Procyon, the eighth brightest
star. To identify this star, Orion’s head and shoulders form an
arrowhead, with orange Betelgeuse at the apex, which points toward
Procyon. Like Sirius in Canis Major, this star is bright because it is
in our celestial backyard, about 11 light years away.

The name Procyon means “before the dog,” indicating it is a harbinger of
Sirius the Dog Star which rises about 40 minutes later. Ancient Egyptian
farmers watched for the first visible rising of Sirius before sunrise,
as experience had taught them the Nile would soon flood its banks with
fertile soil when this occurred. In mythology the two dogs are sometimes
depicted as Laelaps (Canis Major), an extremely fast dog and an equally
fast fox. The dog was sent to hunt the fox but, after a long chase with
no apparent end, Zeus turned them both to stone and placed them in the sky.

I like to look at the dogs and their westerly neighbours, Orion the
Hunter and Lepus the Hare, in a more modern sense. The mighty demigod
Orion becomes everyone’s favourite hunter, Elmer Fudd, with that
wascawwy wabbit bugging him below his feet. Although not related
directly to Bugs Bunny cartoons, the big and little dogs become Spike
and Chester. Just as Chester would bounce around in front of his hero,
the bulldog Spike, Canis Minor bounces up before Canis Major.

This Week in the Solar System

Saturday’s sunrise in Moncton is at 7:58 am and sunset will occur at
4:57 pm, giving 8 hours, 59 minutes of daylight (8:00 am and 5:05 pm in
Saint John). Next Saturday the Sun will rise at 7:54 am and set at 5:07
pm, giving 9 hours, 13 minutes of daylight (7:56 am and 5:14 pm in Saint
John).

The Moon is new on Tuesday and, with binoculars and some weather luck,
the old crescent might be seen near Mercury and Saturn on the morning
before. Those two planets are closest together this weekend. Also on
Monday morning, Mars is a binocular-width to the lower left of Jupiter.
Having passed Jupiter last weekend, Mars sets its sights on a rendezvous
with Saturn in early April.

Questions? Contact Curt Nason at
nasonc@nbnet.nb.ca.
Nelson Poirier,
Nature Moncton
 
AMERICAN ROBIN. JAN. 11, 2018. BRIAN STONE

Canis Minor

HORNED LARK.JAN 11, 2018. ALDO DORIO

NEST. JAN. 11, 2018. BRIAN STONE

NEST. JAN. 11, 2018. BRIAN STONE