Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving (Late)

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving.  We had a good one out here with the usual turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc.  We rarely all sit down to eat together, and it's nice once in a while.  It's another one of those weeks that I don't have a lot to talk about since I've mostly been doing office work or looking for sick ducks around the seeps.  

 Here's the community table at the Clipper House.

 We had a nice variety of fresh fruit.  I think it came up on the plane since we don't grow any of these.

This part of a racecar has been sitting around for years, so someone finally decided to make it into a wall decoration. 

 This is about as crowded as it gets with albatross.  They have started laying eggs, and the pairs are rarely together once the egg is laid.  There will still be a lot of young unpaired birds around all the time.

This is a brand new egg.  The female will probably go out to forage very soon, since she used up a lot of energy making the egg.  For the moment, both parents inspect the egg.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


The albatrosses are almost all back now and the Black-footed albatrosses have started laying eggs.  We still haven't seen the female Short-tailed albatross on Eastern Island yet.  It's been fairly quiet on island since the Hawaiian group left, but there are a couple of things I have for show and tell. 

We had a nice Veterans Day Ceremony at the Navy Memorial on Monday.  The Thai guys do a a great job making the wreaths from the local flowers.

Back in June and July a couple of film makers stopped by to shoot an episode of "Wild Hawaii" for the Animal Planet Network.  I found out on Tuesday that it was airing on Tuesday, so I didn't get a chance to tell you about it.  Sorry about that.  I hope some of you chanced upon it. If not, maybe you can check the online schedule to see when it will rerun? 

We had another beautiful sunrise on Friday.

 The birds are filling up the parade field and stomping down all of the tall grass.

Three more birds are coming to join the rest.

 The grapefruit in the orchard are almost ready to pick.  The oranges are a bit further along. 

A small fishing boat washed up on Eastern a couple of weeks ago.  It looks like it might be tsunami debris from Japan.  We're checking into it and I'll let you know what we find out about it.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thank You Veterans

Thanks to all veterans who've served at Midway, those I served with during my 6 years in the Navy, and those who've served anywhere in the world.  We'll be having a small ceremony tomorrow at the Navy Memorial.

This is one of the few photos I have from my time on the USS-Honolulu (SSN-718).  I'm down in the engineroom of the sub out in front of this battle group.  I remember the crew up in the control room were worried that if the engines stopped, we'd be in trouble.  We were moving pretty fast in this photo, and the carrier was closer than it looks.  I enjoy my view a little better nowadays than I did in back then.

More of the albatross have been appearing every day.  We haven't seen any nests yet, but it won't be long now.  The weather is cooling down, but we've still been having perfect days.  Not hot, but sunny with a bit of a breeze. 

This is our Navy Memorial on Veteran's Day, 2007.  The big gooney bird is no longer there.  It had been getting eaten by termites and damaged by weather, so after years of patching, we finally sent it off to Honolulu to get a copy made.  We just have to wait until we can get money for it from donors. 

 A group from NOAA and the State of Hawaii came out to learn more about Midway.  One stop was the monument to Henderson Field on Eastern Island.  We lost our visitor program, but we'll still sometimes get visits from our monument management partners.

 The group got to see what a great job the verbesina removal crew is doing over there.  This area had been covered with verbesina a few months ago.  The crew had to clean some trails so they'll be able to move around the island when the albatross start nesting everywhere.  Don't worry, they still have plenty of nesting space even with the cleared trails.

 The group also helped plant native bunch grass and 'aki'aki grass.

 This young Short-tailed albatross visited us last year.  It's come back again seeing if there's any other Short-tails to meet.  We haven't seen it interacting with our 3 usual resident birds.
A Black-footed albatross with verbesina in the background.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Albatross are coming back

A lot of albatross are showing up now that the wind has shifted from the south to north.  I think it was tougher for them to fly back here against the wind.  We've seen 2 Short-tailed albatrosses so far, the one that sits by the runway, and the male of the pair on Eastern Island.  More Black-footed and Laysan albatross are showing up every day.  

We had a small Halloween party last week at Capt. Brooks' Tavern.  Nothing to crazy, since it was a Wednesday night, and our island population is pretty low right now.  A few people dressed up, but I didn't take many pics. 
The Short-tailed albatross sits with 3 decoys, and a few Black-footed albatross.  The real bird is the one on the right.
 One of the early Laysan albatrosses gets a good spot before the crowd gets in.

Here's a White tern and one of the old abandoned barracks buildings.  Speaking of White terns, we're still feeding about 10 of the chicks that we rescued from the lead paint project.

 A big net washed up on the shore of Eastern Island. 

A Brown booby was sitting on the beach near the net.
A Black-footed albatross flies by.  I just noticed I put up a lot of bird photos this week.  Next week I'll try to mix it up a bit more.