Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sette Returns

The Oscar Elton Sette returned this week.  They are picking up the monk seal crews that have been monitoring the seals on most of the islands up the chain.  They also dropped off a couple of people from Tern Island who'll be flying out next week.  Welcome to Midway Sarah and Dan!  We've still got a lot of people on island with the work crews being here.  There aren't that many details to tell you about this week so I'll just get to the photos.

 The Oscar Elton Sette is pulling back into the pier on Thursday morning.

 This excavator is getting some sand from the beach near the cargo pier to fill in areas where sand was removed for lead paint remediation.

There are few albatross chicks left, but those that are left are usually trying to find some shade. 

The chicks are thirsty so when it rains, they try to catch as much as they can. 

 This is one of the last Bonin petrel fledglings walking by a Laysan albatross chick that wasn't so lucky.

Now the bird population is low enough that the planes can fly in the daytime.  It gets back to Honolulu about 3 p.m. now which is a lot better than 1 a.m.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Still Busy

We've still got a lot going on here with the lead paint abatement and runway sealing projects going on.  Chris Jordan and crew (aka Jim) wrapped up this session of filming for their Midway movie and left this week. We also have a couple of people here with NOAA looking for invasive marine organisms around the islands. A couple of new Hawaiian monk seal pups were born on Eastern Island, and our albatross chicks are fledging like crazy.  So in other words, the usual stuff is going on around here.  And it's still great to work here.

Jim & Chris are filming the albatross chicks that are trying to fledge in the harbor (yes, I did mess with the colors a bit on this one).

 This is the parade field.  Most of our albatross are gone now.  There are still thousands around, but they are a lot more sparse.

 The young albatross are all lined up on the hill.

 I had to go count ducks on Eastern Island in the rain.  It was pretty nice.

 This albatross chick was trying to fly and plopped down right next to the ducks.

 These Laysan ducklings are just about to start getting real feathers.

 This young duck put its head through a plastic ring, then got its bill stuck.  It would have died if I hadn't caught it and removed the plastic.

We went out on the reef today.  Here's a teardrop butterflyfish.  I don't see them around too often.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

More work!

We've got a lot going on here on the refuge right now.  Now that the birds are disappearing, we can get some major projects started.  A crew came to seal some cracks on the runway.  That will last another month or so.  Another group of lead paint remediation workers also came to do major cleanup around a lot of our buildings.  

I mentioned Chris Jordan's film project needing help with funding the last couple of weeks.  It looks like his goal of $100,000 has been reached.  He and Jim will be here for a few more days getting more amazing shots.

 Many of the Black-footed albatross have fledged and probably about 1/4 of the Laysan albatross have fledged.   This one is wasn't ready for the water just yet.

 The albatross chicks congregate on the boat ramp since a lot of them fall off of the seawall and into the harbor.  The boat ramp is one of only 2 places they can walk back out.  A few of these have died already, but some will make it.

 The NOAA research vessel Hi'ialakai pulled in on Saturday.  They're here for a couple of days doing maritime archeology and shark research, as well as a few other projects.

Chris and Jim are trying to film some Sooty terns on Eastern Island.

 One of the terns landed on Jim's hat so he's recording the calls.

 While we were on Eastern Island, the volunteers picked up tiny plastic marine debris from the beach.  We're down to 2 volunteers now.  Jennifer has gone, but we still have Liz and Ryan out here to help out.

 This Masked booby chick looks much bigger than the parent.

 Jim is setting up his camera to get some star photos.

 I took a picture of Scorpio and Saggitarius with my cheaper lens on my Canon 7D.  Jim loaned me a more expensive lens, and I got the picture below.  The magnification is just slightly higher, but it lets in a lot more light.  I was amazed at the difference.  Maybe I have to buy another lens?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Job Opening: Tern Island

I just wanted to do a quick mid-week post to let people know that my old Tern Island job is open.  It's only open until Friday, Jul 13.  I just found out about it today though.  Anyone with good maintenance skills, a good biology background (degree required), and wanting to work on a tiny island with 4-15 people should apply.  Here's the link on USAjobs:

To see what I did there, you can check my old blog:

This is what Tern Island looked like from the airplane a few years ago.  That's the pilot's helmet on the left.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Lot of Projects!

Now that our visitor season is over, we've got a lot of work going on out here.  Along with our usual construction crew that is renovating the houseing, there is a crew repairing cracks in the runway, and the lead paint remediation crew is back again this year to work on the lead paint on and around the old buildings.  The crew that was filming the "Wild Hawaii" show for Animal Planet left a few days ago.  Chris Jordan and crew are still here working on their Midway film.  Check out the trailer at:

And again, I'll put the link in for donations to the project.  The way Kickstarter works is that no money is given if they don't reach their goal.  I know Chris, Jan, Jim, and Joe will appreciate any help.

 The barge left last week with a lot of our scrap metal.  Here's a really big forklift hauling away one of our old firetrucks.

 Here's another shot of the film crew getting some dolphin shots.  They don't know when the show will be broadcast on Animal Planet, but I'll let you know if I find anything out.

 Here's a spinner dolphin jumping near the boat.

 Here's another one.

 This Black noddy chick was displaced due to the lead paint work.  We'll feed this one along with the White tern chicks. 

 We also had a White-tailed tropicbird chick hatch in an ironwood tree.  They are a bit smaller than the red-tailed tropicbird chicks.  This chick is less than a day old in this photo.

 Since I'm showing some of the chicks, I'll put up a White tern chick that lives in a hibiscus tree.

We went snorkeling on the Fourth of July.  My camera batteries were acting up, so I didn't get many photos, but here's a decent one of a spectacled parrotfish.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

More Films & A Barge

Our barge came in on Friday and brought a load of supplies.  A lot of it will be used for our lead paint remediation project.  I hope we got some new diet sodas for the store too.

We've got 2 film crews out here now.  The guys filming the Animal Planet show are still here, and Chris Jordan and crew are back to work on their Midway film.  You can check out their latest news at:

Also, they need some help with the funding for their Midway film. If anyone has a few dollars (or more) to help them finish the movie, you can contribute either directly through the link above or through their kickstarter site:  

 Jim and Jan are filming fledglings down on the beach.

 Here's Chris filming an albatross chick on the beach near the pillbox.

 Jan is using a really nice camera setup.

 Michael and Simon are filming from the Safeboat as we look for the dolphins for the Animal Planet show.

Here comes the tug pulling the barge loaded with supplies.  

We're using this opportunity to clean up our old vehicle boneyard.  The barge will be able to take a lot of our metal for scrap.

 Some White tern chicks were displaced with some of the lead paint removal work.  The volunteers will take care of these until they fledge.

This bird is thinking about fledging, but isn't quite ready yet.  It's got a nice view.