27 May, 2013

Migrating Through Saskatchewan

Island Girl continued to fly NNW through most of Saskatchewan yesterday. She covered 229 km (142 miles) for the day. Sometime in the late afternoon, she took a solid turn to the NE, apparently now correcting her heading towards Hudson Bay.

She is in another remarkable area for migrant peregrines. The habitat consists of flat agricultural fields supporting a mix of crops (wheat, peas, canola) interspersed with coniferous woodlots and birch.

She is starting to approach the northern boreal forest and was right on the edge of it last night.

My friend and colleague, Dr. Lynn Oliphant, lives in this area (near Saskatoon) about 100 miles west of her roost site. I talked with him this morning to let him know she was near last night.

He tells me that there has never been this much water in his area since he has lived there. Several of the line roads are under four feet of water. One of his friends cannot get down his driveway to his house anymore. Lynn has several new ponds on his property and more breeding ducks than ever.

Also told me that they had a very late winter. As a result, the hawk counters in Manitoba kept their sites open longer than usual and had quite the surprise this spring. Usually there are only a handful of peregrines reported(2-3) per season. This year they had over 200 since they went all the way into May, much later than normal.

They had apparently been missing the spring peregrine flight there all these years. Nice discovery for them. Hopefully they will continue their late season efforts in the future.

Island Girl roosted in a woodlot at 1,825 ' elevation and only about 565 yards east of grid road #35. The GE image is pretty low resolution so we don't have much detail and there are few photos in this area.

Thanks to Lynn for the information.

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