Sunday, December 16, 2012

Albatross Counters and Island News

We've got some new people on island for the next couple of weeks, but with a lot of our island population gone for vacation, it's still pretty quiet on island.  We've got our annual albatross nest counters here to tally up all of the Laysan and Black-footed albatross nests on all 3 islands.  My wife, Dasha, also came out for a couple of weeks.  We haven't seen each other for a few months, so it's about time.

There was some news from Tern Island this week.  They were hit with a short but violent windstorm last week and there was quite a bit of damage to the facilities there. Everybody is ok, but it will take a lot to get it up and running again.  Here's a link to the press release: 

We're losing our neighbors out in the archipelago.  The field camp on Laysan Island was evacuated on Nov. 4 for a medical issue.  Article:

The only currently inhabited places in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are at Midway and Kure Atolls. 

 Dasha is feeding the one White tern that is left from the chicks saved from the lead paint removal project.  We've been feeding three of them for the past few weeks and two flew away on Friday.  We're usually feeding them frozen smelt from the grocery store.

 The albatross nests aren't near as dense in the trees as they are in the open areas.

This area is near Brackish pond.  It doesn't look much like the rest of the island over here.  A few albatrosses try to nest, but the water is still rising, so they get flooded out.

 It was a cloudy day at the cargo pier on Saturday, but it was one of the few non-windy days for the past month, so Dasha and I went for a quick snorkel under the pier.

 There are large schools of fish under the pier, including chubs, jacks, needlefish, and like in the picture, yellow-fin goatfish.

A small green sea turtle swims below.

No comments: