Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day 9: Strategies

Today was also the extensive water sampling and filtering day. It was a beautiful day to be outside! 15C, sunny, clear skies! So my strategy was to be outside all day, hopping from lake to lake. And to wear profusive amounts of sunscreen!

Me taking a water sample of a channel of water that flows into
Strange Lake from Puddle Pond. By comparing the water chemistry
between the channels and the ponds, we may e able to determine if
nutrients are being added to the ponds from these channels through
 the added nutrients from the water flowing over the peatland before
entering the lake.

The sunny day brings out more than researchers. So many birds, the first frogs, and the first few mosquitoes! The mosquitoes aren't bad yet, but in about a week, I'm going to be donning my bug jacket, trying to reach my goal of a maximum of 10 bites all summer! (Naive? Maybe! But optimistic!) Today was the first day that I heard the frogs calling, everywhere! So many frogs! The wood frogs sound almost like a bird call while the boreal chorus frogs sound more like running a finger over a comb. I have yet to see them though. As soon as I approached a pond, there was silence, and the camouflage was just too good for me to be able to locate them.

While we were walking along the lakes to figure out which way the water flows between the lakes, me distracted, trying to find the frogs that were calling at my feet, Kat and I startled a Canada Goose who was sitting on a nest. Unlike the geese in Waterloo who will stand guard, hiss and attack you if you get too close to their nest, this goose started to fly away. This is a strategy that has been interpreted as the goose trying to lead the attacker away from the nest, "follow me!" A lot of arctic birds do this. Others will dive-bomb you, such as arctic tern (I have yet to be dive bombed, but am looking forward to that experience!) I thought the difference in behaviour was really interesting. The southern geese no longer see us as much of a threat, they stay near the nest maybe because they think they can take us!

Canada Goose Nest on peat - 4 eggs!

I wonder how well the strategy really works since we also found this
 eaten egg in the snow. Would an arctic fox or a raven really start to
follow the mother goose if they abandon the nest? Wouldn't the
 predator just grab the eggs? Hmm....
And to make everyone else jealous... 

Panorama: 9:50 sunset at CNSC (which will actually set below the horizon
at 10:22)

1 comment:

  1. 10 bites for the summer? :p That IS optimistic. Everytime I go out biking at Hydro Cut I come back with at least 30. I know this because when I rest my arms, on something, only the bug bitten parts touch the surface.