Monday, May 14, 2012

The Steller’s Sea Eagle surveys of 2012: 1

The Steller’s Sea Eagle surveys of 2012 

March-April surveys using ultralight

IrinaUtekina has flown 2 missions on an ultralight aircraft on March, 30, 2012 and April, 6, 2012. Both the Kava and Chelomdja were surveyed. The purpose of the flights was to survey density of the moose in the reserve and paid for by the Magadan Game committee (part of the Ministry of Nature Resources). So Irina managed to make the surveys as close to the arrival of the eagles as possible. Technically it was a free ride for us. The Chielomdja flight had to be interrupted due to heavy headwinds, which forced to land the ultralight earlier than expected. There was a steady snow cover in the area at the time of the surveys. There were three new nests found, which are invisible from the river. One was found close to the Central Rangers station. Only one Steller’s Sea Eagle was spotted on Chelomdja.
            Snow cover was exceptionally low. The local hunters failed to shoot moose as they were not able to drive show machines fast enough without damaging them. While flying a forest fire was observed. It is quite a unique phenomenon for the period with snow cover.