Sunday, July 17, 2011

Another Blog to Check

There was nothing big going on at Midway lately.  Just the usual warm, sunny days.  It's been a bit breezy, so a lot of the albatross chicks have fledged, but there are quite a few around.  We've been doing are usual weekly checks of albatross plots, red-tailed tropicbird plots, and Laysan duck surveys.  While I was over on Eastern Island, I found some pits that a female green sea turtle had dug.  These didn't look like actual nests, but just pits to check out the sand.  We've only had a few verified nests on Midway so we're always hoping to find more.
I forgot to mention that the coral reef researchers from UCSC (Univ. of California Santa Cruz) came out here while I was gone.  Kristin and Anne have been coming out here every summer for a few years now.  Kristin has been studying black-lipped pearl oysters.  They aren't very comon around here, but she's finding a few.  She also does a blog from here that you can check out for a slightly different Midway perspective.  Here's the link and a link to their research, too: 

 The sooty terns are still nesting over on Eastern Island and still flock around when people walk there.

 Some of the sooty tern chicks are starting to get feathers.  A lot of the birds are still on eggs.

This is the caterpillar of the white-lined sphinx moth feeding on the native Boerhavia repens.

 This is the adult white-lined sphinx moth.  Since the boerhavia is doing so well, there are a lot of these moths right now.

This is something I haven't seen before.  An old white tern chick shading a tiny white tern chick.  I hope that the big one doesn't steal the little one's food.

This is a frigatebird flying above a dead heliotrope tree.

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