Last full day at QUBS for Canadian & Chinese students together – August 20th
This is the last full day for Canadian students at QUBS, also the last day of the course. Chinese students will stay here for another week before the course is finished. After an early wake up at 5:30, we set out for Cow Island for bird watching at 6:00. Dawn is the best time of the day for bird watching; usually this activity should begin preparing before it, so actually we are not so early. Our guide is Mark Conboy, who is quite proficient in bird natural history. In between a couple of trees and bushes, we set up a mist net, near the border of the island in wet soil. Our purpose of setting a capture net is to closely observe some birds particularly apparent those of this marshy region. However, even with recorded birds songs playing for half an hour, and with several of them hanging around for a while in the trees (Common Yellowthroat, Black and white Warbler), those birds come to the net. It is one of the hardest time if the year for bird watching, that is late summer, when the breeding is completed for most birds; what’s more, when winter is coming and spring has gone that
migrating birds are probably not here. After that we finished breakfast at around 8:00. Steve gave a talk on bird diversity, which partially compensated the dearth of birds in early morning.
Around twelve of us went to do two additional wetlands assessment near QUBS, using GPS mapping and various water assessment devices before lunch. The others stay in the lodge to clean and talk about activities we had these days.
We visited Gananoque, a town near Kingston on the river bank of St. Lawrence River. On board at 15:00, we then took a tour on the river around 1000 Islands. The landscape of this river is quite different from Yangtze in China. Despite better water quality, there are many islands in the middle of rivers, the topography is plain with
hills, comparing to our tour in Yangtze where mountains and cliffs are distinct and the river course is narrow and severe. As the boats goes, wetlands at intervene between water bodies and lands are found everywhere on St. Lawrence, unfortunately the natural correspond landscape in upper Yangtze is covered by the stored water of the Three Gorges Dam forever.
After dinner at QUBS we spent 2 hours finishing the map of Canadian puzzles before camp fire party (we talked into mid night around the fire at the lake), and this will be a memory kept of QUBS for this field course and all of us. The day finished when there are only a couple of hours left before daybreak, marked the final goodbye tomorrow.
Bon voyage, everyone!