After a good but late fall flight, December brought colder and snowier conditions than normal, forcing birds into the remaining open water areas (e.g., springs, bridge abutments and moving creeks). In early December, there was more sea ice observed in the Northumberland Straight than in recent years.
January weather has been a bit of a roller coaster ride, with several freeze-thaw events accompanied by mixed precipitation, resulting in localized flooding across all provinces.
Environment Canada is predicting above-normal temperatures for most of the Maritime Provinces and southern NL, with average to below-normal temperatures for northern NL. Normal precipitation is predicted across the entire region.
Good numbers of typical winter waterfowl (e.g., American black ducks, mallards, mergansers and common goldeneyes) are being observed along the coasts and where open water persists. In NL, high numbers of eiders (common and king) are being reported.
DUC's wetland projects are experiencing high water levels but remain ice covered, even with fluctuating temperatures. There should be no shortage of water this spring. Habitat conditions are good overall.
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