Posted by: jwhiff | January 23, 2011

Geese Everywhere!

I made it back to the Inlet with Quentin, five eager students, and a pair of rubber boots this Friday.

We didn’t spot the interesting variety of birds of the past two visits.  However, we were overwhelmed by the sight of Canada geese covering the Inlet as far as a the eye could see!

We counted well over 300 geese.  I am kicking myself for not filming or photographing the sight.  I will absolutely do this next time.

I did get some photographs of the grasses in the salt marsh and tried to get a useful photo of the line between  the grasses and the mud.  

I realize that, if we are going to monitor the salt marsh for changes in this line, then we are going to have to do some measuring in a couple of good spots.  Plus, I’m a little worried that we are going to do more damage than good by stepping out onto the grasses.  Our flat heavy feet will end up compacting the soil and making it harder for the grass to grow.  We’ll have to approach this carefully.  Perhaps we could place a visible marker on a tree and then always photograph from the same spot?

I’m curious about the lack of other varieties of birds this time.  We saw no buffleheads, mergansers or goldeneyes.  Normally, they are relatively plentiful.  Do the huge numbers of geese scare them off?  Or was it just a coincidence?

In the class, we are going to set up a wall chart of birds that we have seen and their numbers over time.  Part of my homework this weekend is to print off colour photos of each of the species that we have seen for the chart.  Plus, we are going to have a visit from Ron Ydenberg this Wednesday.  Should be another great experience!

Ah…I should also mention that my students were disgusted with the amount of litter we encountered on our short walk.  We picked up some of it, although we not well equipped to do so.  So, I have decided that we will always come armed with a bucket and some tongs when we visit.  Better than feeling righteous and helpless.

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