April 2014

Monthly Archive

Surfin by Ken

Posted by on 28 Apr 2014 | Tagged as: birding

Beth was in Moncton, New Brunswick, to spend Easter with me this year.  While here I wanted her to see the Tidal Bore as it roared into town.  For one reason or another, we missed the days nearest Full Moon, when the bore is the fiercest, but finally made it to the riverside on time, the Saturday before Easter.

We saw the wave coming and climbed out of the car to watch and listen from right at the bank.  Great fun!  Local hotshots surf the bore in summer but there was still too much ice in the water for such shenanigans this early.  It turned out that there were adequate proxies available however. Continue Reading »

Bar-headed Geese by Ken

Posted by on 28 Apr 2014 | Tagged as: birding, Wandering Members

Bar-headed Geese

I heard an extremely interesting presentation on CBC Radio this spring by Dr. Lucy Hawkes, a lecturer at University of Exeter in England.

It seems that Bar-headed Geese, which nest in the high plateaus of China and Mongolia and winter on the low plains of India, are among the oldest species of modern birds, at roughly 50 million years.  This is older than the Himalayas, over which they now migrate.  Fifty million years ago, the Indian sub-continent had not yet started to impact the Asian geologic plate and the migration route was quite routine.  As the two tectonic plates collided, the Himalayas began to form and were pushed upward, to their current height, at a still increasing rate.  Meanwhile, the Bar-headed Geese continued to migrate along their pre-programmed route, flying higher and higher as the peaks rose, and have developed amazing adaptations to facilitate this twice-annual feat. Continue Reading »