Wednesday, April 30, 2008
This turtle doesn't have anything to do with banding albatross chicks or spraying weeds, but it really had a beautiful shell and was pretty big. I would guess at least 250 lbs, probably more. A lot of times the big ones have algae growing on their shells so they aren't quite as nice.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
This is what happens on sunny days. The juveniles and adults take the shade and all the chicks just roast in the sun. A few sneak in because the birds are a lot more tolerant of each other when it's hot.
The chicks give themselves shade too. They balance on their legs, lift their feet off the ground, and keep their feet in the shade. Their feet have a lot of blood vessels so they like to keep them off of the warm ground where the breeze can cool them off.
Monday, April 28, 2008
We have no visitors, scientists, contractors, or officials. Everyone that was here last week left on Friday. It's nice to have other people here because it keeps things interesting, but it's also nice sometimes to kind of recouperate and catch up on things. It was good to have Sharon and Carol out here to check the lead in the ground. We found out that it is really high around the buildings and that we could save a lot of birds by cleaning it up.
Here's a baby red-tailed tropic bird taking a nap.
And a pair of white terns on a stick.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Here was a chick in my yard yesterday drinking the water that was coming off of the roof.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
This little albatross chick found an interesting spot to sit when we finished chainsawing at Turtle Beach yesterday. Albatrosses really are funny birds. I'm going to miss them in 6 weeks.
Friday, April 25, 2008
This afternoon we had "Chainsaw Friday". I got rid of some young trees over at Turtle Beach. There were about 15 turtles there and they really didn't seem to mind the noise. We also saw the dolphins swimming nearby for quite a while. How many places can you see dolphins and sea turtles while you chainsaw?
The sooty terns are back on Eastern Island. They are really loud.Here is the "Before" picture of the little ironwoods at turtle beach.
This is "After". They weren't that big, which is why we got them now.
Here are two of the spinner dolphins jumping around.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
We are getting some visitors tonight for a couple of days. The Deputy Secretary of the Interior and a few of the people that manage the Papahanaumakuakea Monument (which Midway is a part of) will be visiting. I like it when the people making the decisions for this place get to visit as much as possible.
Here's one of the green sea turtles next to the pier.
This albatross is just about scraping the sand on the beach. It would have been nice if it was sunny!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
This is the new little island.
A red-footed booby on Eastern Island.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
This was the view from the cargo pier this afternoon.
This is a picture from Eastern Island yesterday. It is a male Great Frigatebird.
Here's a last shot of the Pacific Grace. It's a beautiful ship.
Friday, April 18, 2008
This is the Pacific Grace pulling in yesterday.
Matt is giving the orientation before people start wandering about.
This is Brent clearing around the pillbox on Eastern Island. I got to be the one to crawl in the hole and shovel it out. It's really not so bad, if you don't mind a bug or two and the spiny seeds from the tribulus plants.
We spent most of the day today hand pulling the verbesina by the cable houses. Tomorrow we are going back to Eastern Island to pull some more verbesina near the duck seep there. I don't have any pictures for you today because I'm having issues with my hard drive. I'll try to get it going by tomorrow.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
See the tiny white tern chick at the bottom of the picture. This is in front of Barry's house. Usually they will be on something other than the ground such as fences, branches, stumps, air conditioners, window ledges, wheelbarrows, etc. This area is near his steps so it's a little raised from the yard.
It was probably less than a day old and if you have a 15" monitor, it is about life size (smaller than a golf ball).
He kind of looks like he's starting to get annoyed with the papparazzi.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
There are two people out here now that are doing some work on our lead paint problem. They are sampling the ground near the buildings and checking the blood levels of lead in albatross chicks. They've been finding that there are very high lead levels within 5m of the buildings. Some of the chicks have such high blood lead levels that their analyzer can't even measure it. The chicks aren't old enough to really see the developmental problems yet, but many of them will get "droop wing", where their wings will droop and scrape the ground when they walk. Most of those die. They don't try to eat the lead paint, but when they pick up sand to make their nests or just pick up little pieces to play with, they end up ingesting it. That's another one of our big problems out here besides the plastic, marine debris, invasive species, coral bleaching, etc. It's another thing that we are just waiting for the money to take care of it.
Dasha and I were putting this little albatross out of Greg's backyard all the time. It kept on getting back in and the parents couldn't feed it. It looked like it was too big for the holes, but I found out otherwise.
Now we have blocked all the holes so it stays out where it can get fed.
Monday, April 14, 2008
The Thai guys made a few sand sculptures.
We even had a parade! It went from the Chugach office, past my house, and up to Capt. Brooks'.
Kristin and Dana are "Miss Songkran".
The soaking begins right after pouring water on the Buddha and pouring water on the elder's hands.Thawal is getting dowsed.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Aside from that, the visitor group left today. Again, they were a great group that really liked it here. We will have a little break in the visitor program for a few weeks, and they'll be back in May.
Melanie, our Physician's Assistant, also left today. She'll be going to her summer job as a P.A. in Yellowstone Park. She'll be back in the fall, but I'll be gone by then. Her replacement, Jesse, came in on the Wednesday flight, and he seems like he'll work out well too. Some of you who've been here may have noticed I said Brandon came in 5th. He had left last July and is now back for 5 weeks to fill in for vacationing fire fighters. Greg came back on tonight's plane too, so now we'll be able to catch up on some of the invasive species that lhave been growing like crazy lately.
Here are the bike riders about to start in front of the Bravo Barracks.
Aun is crossing the finish line with JR passing the gooney chick in the background. We had to dodge the chicks over most of the course. If we waited another month, we would have had thousands in the roads instead of only a bunch.
The Fish & Wildlife crew. Cindy, Brent, Kristin, Matt, Murray, Me, John (with his marine debris #1 medal), Barry, and Dana.
Friday, April 11, 2008
I'm not sure what kind of triggerfish this is since it has no color left, but its teeth are still white and sharp.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
This morning the volunteers and I showed the visitors group how to clone the bunch grass. There were a lot of people today so we got a lot of pots planted. Everyone seemed to enjoy getting their hands a little dirty.
This was a view of part of Radar Hill back in July.
This is the view now. It's a different spot but it's a nice big clear area now. We probably won't be taking any of the trees down that you can see in the background because they are too big and it would be too much trouble.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Here are the albatrosses over at the parade field. Sorry for the bad lighting, but you can tell there are a lot of birds.
A bird came over and started biting Dasha's sweatshirt. They do that a lot when you just sit in one spot for a while. Some of them like to untie shoelaces too if you stand in one place too long.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Here are a few of the things we found on the beach today.
A Laysan albatross is flying around North Beach. That's an old fuel tank in the background.
Here's a Black-footed albatross too. The light wasn't so good today since it was cloudy, but it's still cool to see their wingspans.