Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bird Band Data and the Disputed Eider...


It took some time, but I finally got all the information back from the disputed eider taken earlier this season by one of my good friends. Being the good man I am, I'll put the photos of the disputing participants for my personal enjoyment.



Just like with the banded hen several years ago that was over 13 years, this drake eider proved to be quite the trophy. The statistics are as follows: Male Common Eider banded on 8/8.2002 at the Petit Manan Wildlife Refuge, south of Milbridge, Maine by Brad Allen of DIFW. This drake was believed to have been hatched in 2001 or earlier and taken on December 5, 2009.

My hen banded eider was far more traveled as it made the trek from Sonora, Nova Scotia (at least 400 miles) over 13 years while this drake presented a far more residential lifestyle traveling only eighteen miles in 7.5 years.

Of particular notice, the band left worn readily on one side and was missing several numbers. Once it was returned, the etching process now clearly displays all numbers. However, you can easily see how the band was inspected almost burred around the band. I'm not sure if this is due to my request to have the band remain round, or it was done with a different technique. I checked the band from my hen and could not see any of the numbers the BBL found.

On any account, I'm getting excited about my extended ice fishing vacation up in the Grand Lake Stream region as the Rabid Outdoorsman and yours truly embark on 4 day fiasco chasing both the lake trout and landlocked salmon. It should make for quite an experience and quite a blogging flogging. This BlogFlog begins on February 18th, so stay tuned...

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Comings and Goings... and a writer's funk...


I figured while I watch Scott Brown change the balance of power in the U.S. Senate, it would be a good idea to post my peeps on the generalities of my January...

Over the long weekend, we hit the brook trout quite well as limits were achieved on Saturday and Monday. Sunday was without any success, but I had my co-pilot with me for a temperate afternoon. She was bummed that we didn't get a fish, but I quickly shared with her that, "Daddy would rather catch zero fish with you, than catch 50 by himself". I towed her all around, watched her do this running slide thing on the ice, and checked several flags that had bait stolen. Pretty soon I'm going to bring out the ATV or the snowmobile, but I'm trying to teach her the importance of being outdoors first without the toys. I don't want it to become all about the machines...

Today, I received my eider band from the Bird Band Laboratory with a notice that the information will soon arrive. That in itself will be interesting, after that I've got to decide who gets the band. I joked that since neither of my buddies couldn't prove they shot the eider, the band belonged to the captain. Maybe I'll just keep it and bring it to our social events for some jabbing and aggravation...

I've been sort of in a writing funk and really not motivated to type or even take pictures, for that I apologize and will try to bring a more dedicated prose to my blog. There are still a few good articles in the works, but duck hunting is pretty much done as my boat has been at the doctors for some time now going under some warranty work...

Until next time,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Saturday, January 9, 2010

First day out on the ice...



I had planned on an ice fishing jaunt with the Rabid Outdoorsman for this weekend, but plans change and I just couldn't attend the brown trout venture he had planned with his brother, Matt Diesel.

However, I wasn't without opportunity and the brook trout found trouble today. My good friend Bud and I departed before daylight to get an early jump on the fishing while our wives would expect our return at noon for their joint venture to stimulate the economy. Our fishing party also was attended by my uncle, cousin, and good buddy Brian.

The photographic opportunities around the day were skewed at best, my camera never ever even took one picture as I glared at "Change the Batteries" while I attempted to photograph my first brook trout. Meanwhile, I never even knew that Bud had a camera until he was taking some photos for himself.

The wind was a snappy Northerly, with a sharp chill but we managed to check the traps often and proved successful in our labors. Tallies floated around twenty plus brook trout landed ranging from six inches to thirteen inches. I had caught my 11 inch brookie even before I could get my second trap baited first thing in the morning. That same hole saw five trout dance out of the icy circle.

Below are several photos taken by Bud who landed five trout himself, sometimes the better days just don't get imagery to impress the quality of the experience. Nevertheless, I am appreciative of the photos that I can share this weekend.

Have a great one,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Got Black ducks???

As this major storm system stalls over the Gulf of Maine, I had to see where the resident mallards and black ducks chose to harbor. Several places were quite predictable as some other spots came as quite a surprise, but the large tides we are having right now along with the elevated levels due to the storm provided some non-typical flood zones.

My oldest daughter went out on the first scouting mission and wanted to takes some pictures and video of the congregated ducks. Here's the fruit of her labor...





video

I took a few pictures on the second round, the ducks weren't to excited to see me driving by but they would return once I left.





Here's my video of some black duck action...

video

My wife once again chose to trump my photography skills, I'm quite impressed with the close up pictures.







There's some plans in the works for some great posting shortly, however I need to maintain a double top secret angle as the information keeps trickling in on several stories that truly ended 2009 with a bang. Until then, I hope you all are eager for 2010...