Friday, October 23, 2015

10/23 Fall bird season, sky watching, 'Tacomacitis,' new tortoise species

Barrow’s goldeneye (WikiCommons)
Wintering species are arriving
The Sunshine Coast has four well-defined birding seasons, and we are now well into the fall season as our common wintering species begin to arrive for their winter residency. The most obvious of these species are Barrow’s goldeneyes and buffleheads, which return in huge numbers from their freshwater breeding lakes all across interior and northern Canada. As the interior water bodies begin to freeze over, the ducks return to the balmy waters of the Salish Sea to winter. Joe Harrison reported the first Barrow’s goldeneyes of the winter on Oct. 18 at Oyster Bay, Pender Harbour, one day later than last year. Tony Greenfeld writes. (Coast Reporter)

3 reasons to keep an eye on the sky in the next week
Look up! There are a several cool things happening in the night sky over the next week or so. First off, peaking early Thursday morning and in the evening is the Orionid meteor shower. It's an average meteor shower producing up to 20 meteors per hour. Compare that to the Geminids in December, which can produce over 100 per hour. Next, look to the east just before sunrise, and you'll see the conjunction of Mars, Jupiter and Venus. This is pretty rare. It's when all three planets will be bunched up and clearly visible. And finally, on October 27 there will be a full Supermoon. It's the third Supermoon in as many months when the moon makes its closest approach to Earth. And it will look slightly larger and brighter than usual. Benjamin Dery reports. (KING)

‘Tacomacitis’ a centuries-old plague with no easy cure
Forget about cold and flu season. The most stubborn virus in Tacoma has been around as long as the city has fought for the name of its mountain, according to historical records. The Nose writes. (Tacoma News Tribune)

Genetics Probe Identifies New Galapagos Tortoise Species
A new species of giant tortoise has been discovered hiding in plain sight on Ecuador's Galapagos Islands. A population of about 250 animals living in an arid inland area of Santa Cruz island turns out to be so genetically distinct from the rest of the island’s tortoises that researchers have determined that it represents a separate species: Chelonoidis donfaustoi. (Scientific American)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
WEST ENTRANCE U.S. WATERS STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA- 241 AM PDT FRI OCT 23 2015
TODAY
LIGHT WIND. WIND WAVES LESS THAN 1 FT. W SWELL 8 FT AT 12 SECONDS.
TONIGHT
LIGHT WIND...BECOMING E 5 TO 15 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. WIND 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 6 FT AT 11 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG AFTER
 MIDNIGHT.
SAT
SE WIND 10 TO 20 KT. WIND WAVES 1 TO 3 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 10 SECONDS. PATCHY FOG IN THE MORNING.
SAT NIGHT
SE WIND 5 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. W SWELL 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS.
SUN
SE WIND TO 10 KT. WIND WAVES 1 FT OR LESS. SW SWELL 4 FT AT 11 SECONDS.

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"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato@salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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