We are doing the Christmas bird count for the Audubon Society this week. That will be a big project since we are supposed to count every bird of every species on the entire atoll in one day, and there are only 6 of us. Last year there were about 12,000 birds on this island alone. There will probably be another couple thousand on East Island. It will be really difficult to count the birds at LaPerouse Pinnacle since we can't get on it, but we'll try to count them from the boat.
This is what our runway looks like after a couple weeks of rainy weather and no time to scrape the weeds off. Needless to say, I've got some work to do before our plane comes in a few weeks.
We hope to see the bird with the orange bill on our bird count. It is a Nazca booby (the one in front is a masked booby). Their normal range is the Eastern Pacific, especially the Galapagos Islands. They were considered a subspecies of the masked booby, but now are considered separate. This one was here last year, but there is only one, so it probably won't be nesting anytime soon here.
Here's a closeup of a masked booby.
The red-tailed tropicbirds are starting to come back now too.
Here's a little crab that was wandering around in the catchment pad area. It was about 6 inches wide.
I spotted a few Spotted eagle rays as I went around the island on my entrapment walk this morning.