Sunday, May 19, 2013

Warming up

We finally had rain yesterday for the first time since I've been back.  The native plants that we planted finally get a drink.  A few ducklings didn't make it though, since it got a bit too chilly for them.  The hotter weather overall has been having an affect on the albatross chicks.  The ones that haven't been getting fed as much are finally starting to succumb to dehydration and starvation.  It happens every year, but usually the hot weather shows up earlier, so we start to lose them earlier.  If it's a normal year, about 65% of all of the eggs laid, will end up with a chick that fledges.

We've had a few Laysan ducks die from botulism in the past week, so we've got to check all of the seeps on Sand and Eastern Islands, rain or shine.  You can sort of see Sand Island through the rain.  I got pretty soaked, even with full rain gear on.

I had to wait until this young monk seal was done checking out the boat before I could start the engines.
This nursing monk seal pup is getting big.  That big rusty thing out in the water is an old barge that is grounded near the channel into the atoll.  

The Sooty terns always follow me around when I check the duck seeps on Eastern Island.

 The Great frigatebirds are building their nests and the males are trying to attract the females by puffing out their gular pouches.

There are fewer adults out in the fields every week.  The adult feathers are starting to come out of the down on the chicks.
For people who want to see pictures of more buildings than I usually post, remember that you can go to Google maps and check the street view.  You can see most of the buildings on that.  Here is an old bunker near the old fuel farm that you can't see very well on Google maps.  The entrance is in the center so it goes both directions under the sand dune.

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