Thursday, January 31, 2008
The eggs that the volunteers and students saved when the tree blew down, hatched yesterday. I'm sure the new parents will treat the new chicks like their own.
John and Matt are taking out the umbrella sedges and morning glory. The ducks were there watching the whole time, making sure we did a good job, no doubt.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
The frigatebirds are starting to try to attract mates. I'll try to get some better pictures, but in case I don't, you can look at these.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
I also had to save a couple of chicks, including the one in my yard that I took a picture of the other day. Sometimes they fall or get accidentally pushed out of the nest and the parents just sit on the nest and look at the chicks. I don't know if the adults still think they are sitting on the chick, or what they are thinking, but they won't get out of the nest to keep the chicks warm. As soon as I picked up both chicks, the parents stood up and let me put the chick back without snapping at least. Both chicks were shivering because they were cold, and they'll have a lot more to get through to make it to fledge, but at least they didn't freeze to death today.
This is the cargo plane. I'd never seen it before because it usually comes after midnight and leaves long before sunrise.
Another chick is hatching in my yard.
Monday, January 28, 2008
A red-footed booby on the rocks.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Here's a brand new chick in my yard. They'll get rid of the eggshell pretty soon.
McKenzie and Matt playing tennis under the hangar.
We also got some volleyball going tonight since the construction guys are back. It was fun to do that again. It's been a while since I've played.
A couple of turtles are swimming around next to the boat ramp looking for food.
Friday, January 25, 2008
I got a new camera lens on the plane tonight. One thing I wasn't aware of when I bought my digital camera was that the lenses have a different focal length than the film camera. So what used to be a wide angle lens with my old Canon is now a zoom lens. Now I'll finally get to take some wider angle pictures with the 18mm lens.
My roommate, Marc, left on the plane today. He got most of the albatross banded, counted, and studied, but I'll have more albatross work to do now that he's gone. At least Matt and McKenzie (the 2 volunteers who were helping with all the bird work) are still here for another couple weeks and they are up to speed on everything.
A seal is sleeping on a sunken slab of the old seaplane ramp.
A laysan albatross with it's chick.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
This is a view from the FWS garage this morning.
This is the tree that was blown over that I talked about. You can see how the ground pulled up at the roots where the nests were.
One of our papaya trees didn't make it either and the banana trees are tipping.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
The first Laysan albatross chick came out yesterday in the P.A.'s yard. I'll wait to get pictures of it when it starts looking around. Until then, here's some pictures of Laysan ducks.
The duck's head gets whiter as it gets older, so this one's been around a few years.
Monday, January 21, 2008
This seal and turtle are resting on the beach next to the cargo pier. This seal was born last year. The 5k course goes along that seawall in the background.
A zoomed in shot of the turtle next to a fishing net float.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008
That little white fluffy thing under the bird is the chick. It was sleeping so I didn't bother it. We use those little stakes to mark each nest in our plots, so when I say that I go check the bird plots, I check every nest to see which adult is there as well as the status of the egg or the chick.
This is one of the ducks that is visiting us this winter. It's a Shoveler just taking off from the ball field seep. There was also a Pintail there, but it flew before I could get a good picture.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Here's a fat monk seal at frigate point (the western point of the island). That green stuff is naupaka bushes.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Today was another chainsaw day. It goes a lot slower when there are nests everywhere. We'll have to wait for the chicks to start wandering around before we can cut a lot of those trees.
We are also getting another group of volunteers tonight. This group is graduate students from Duke University. I'm not sure what they are studying, but I'll find out tonight. They'll be staying for 9 days.
I was out taking pictures by the fuel pier on Sunday.
This is looking toward the end of the fuel pier.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Here's a small green sea turtle on the eastern side of the island.
This albatross is checking out the turtle in the water. It was only about 3 feet above the turtle.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
This Laysan albatross found a pretty spot for a nest next to the hibiscus.
Yesterday the Chugach guys were shoring up the old seawall with cement that was too old to use for anything else.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
The pizzas came out on the plane and there were even some leftovers. We get pizza at brunch on Sundays but it’s not quite the same as Papa John’s and Pizza Hut.
Today was another beautiful day. I took a lot of pictures but most were birds flying and stuff so I’ll only post two for now and save some of the others for days that I can’t get out and take any.
Two Black-footed albatross are up on their tiptoes doing their dance.
Here’s another example of why we can’t have planes landing during the day. These are all albatrosses which have at least 6 ft wingspans.
Friday, January 11, 2008
One of the young short-tailed albatross is being harassed by a nearby black-foot so it's getting kind of mad. This isn't the bird that went over to Eastern island.
Here's a morning glory plant that I'm trying to identify. There are a couple of species that look very close to each other. I'm trying to find out if it is Ipomea indica. That species was native to Midway but was wiped out. We now have a few plants brought over from Laysan island and we are trying to get it re-established. I found this growing way back in the weeds so either it's the native Midway indica and we should save it or it's the invasive kind of morning glory that we need to spray. We'll see.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Last night a visiting news columnist/bird counter (Susan Scott who writes for the Honolulu Star Bulletin) gave a talk on her sailboat travels to Palmyra and Tahiti. Palmyra is an atoll south of Hawaii and it looks a lot more tropical and rainy than here. There were a lot of great pictures.
After the talk, one of the teachers (Derek) brought a group outside and pointed out stars and constellations. I've forgotten a few over the years so I went out and did that too.
And I almost forgot, for those of you who wish you could work out here for a while, we are hiring a visitor services person who will take the visitors around on tours, snorkel trips and other projects. It's a 6 month temporary job. I'd think about putting in for it, but since I'm married now I think I'll spend some time with my wife and still take off in June. Here is a link to the job if anyone knows anyone who'd be interested. It would basically be showing other people all the things I've already shown and talked about on my blog. It's on usajobs.gov if the link doesn't work. http://jobsearch.usajobs.gov/getjob.asp?JobID=67071169&AVSDM=2008%2D01%2D09+10%3A47%3A09&Logo=0&q=tva-08-003&FedEmp=N&sort=rv&vw=d&brd=3876&ss=0&FedPub=Y&SUBMIT1.x=0&SUBMIT1.y=0
Here's a view of the FWS office across the parade field that I took from the lift about 30 ft up.
This is the area we've been spraying the last couple of days.
This albatross found a spot in the Doctor's cemetary for a nest.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
I got back to spraying the verbesina today. It's coming back in as a carpet over many of the areas we did in the fall. We're getting rid of the seed bank at least.
There's a lot more albatrosses here than when I left. The juveniles have come to look for lifetime partners so there's a lot of dancing going on. Sometimes it takes them a few years to find a mate that's good enough for the next 60 years. The older albatrosses are a lot more tolerant of others now since they've found their good nesting spots, so there are a lot fewer fights.
These Black-footed albatross looked like they were in Antarctica yesterday with the sand blowing drifts over them.
Here's the crowded parade field now. Sorry for the dark picture. I'll get a better one when it's sunny.
Monday, January 7, 2008
I only saw one short-tailed albatross today on this island. It's young so it doesn't have the adult plumage yet like the one over on Eastern Island. It will lose its dark feathers on it's head and get gold ones instead. You can check out the adult on one of my earlier posts.
This white tern looked like it was almost dead because it was so tired from hanging on to the branch in the strong wind. Greg and I put some bark in front of it as a windbreak so I hope it will get some rest now.
This Laysan albatross is liking the windy day as it flies over Rusty Bucket.
Sunday, January 6, 2008
It's been rainy here so far. That means the verbesina will be sprouting up like crazy soon.
We started our visitor program now and our first group of people came out yesterday. They are teachers and people in a position to educate others about Midway and the other Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. I think they're liking it so far.
We've got 2 short-tailed albatross on the island now. They are both juveniles and are dancing together, so that's a good sign. The one over on Eastern island is still there by itself.
Well I'll leave it there for now and give you a couple of pictures.
This was Minneapolis a couple of weeks ago.
This was Midway this afternoon.