Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Holidays

We completed our Christmas bird count for the Audubon Society this week. We counted 11,442 birds on this island of 16 species, 15 if you don't count the Laysan/Black-footed hybrid. It took about 4 1/2 hours. We were supposed to do the other islands also, but the weather was bad, so we didn't count them until yesterday. There were 454 birds on Trig Island, 3893 birds on East Island, and 82 on La Perouse Pinnacle (including the peregrine). There would have been a couple thousand more if we had counted earlier in the morning and later in the evening when the birds aren't out feeding. You'll probably end up seeing most of these species on my blog at some time.

Our Christmas was uneventful, but we had a nice ham meal. I don't know what to do with all these days off over the holidays, so I end up doing a few projects. That's the trouble with living in your office.

The volunteers are about to start the bird count on a Tern Island winter day.


I took some pictures today of a young frigate bird playing with a stick. They like to pick things up, chase each other around, and drop things so they can catch them again. When the Sooty terns are here, many times they'll pick up a small chick and play with them too. The chicks don't make it though.

Apparently this monk seal couldn't find a comfortable spot on the beach.

I tried to figure out what these little eels were. The best I could come up with are that they are young conger eels. Feel free to correct me if you know what they are. There were thousands of them washed up on the Trig Island beach.

8 comments:

Vikram said...

Hi Pete,
Happy holidays! Hope you aren't inflating the bird population by counting every bird 100 times:-)

Anonymous said...

Hope you have a wonderful New Year!! Blessings~ Jana

Jana said...

Hope you have a wonderful New Year!! Blessings~ Jana

randymeiss said...

I'd have to say those are young Conger Eels also. They are a delicacy in Japan. Did you happen to eat one?

Shammickite said...

I love looking at your photos, so interesting! Hope you have a great New Year out there in the middle of the Pacific. Health and happiness and all that! I'll be back to follow your adventures.

Pete Leary said...

Thanks Vikram, I hear congratualations are in order for you. And I don't think we counted them 100 times. Who knows though, they all look the same.

No Randy, I didn't know they were tasty at the time. I'd imagine them tasting like sea cucumber which is also a delicacy, and that isn't very good.

And thanks Jana and Shammickite for the good wishes, you can never have too many of those. Happy New Year to you all!

Anonymous said...

Pete what do you enjoy more, counting birds or aberrant crypts?

sincerely

the northern utah trivia champion

gary nielsen said...

Pete, I have enjoyed both of your blogs. We have a lot in common even though we haven't met. I spent 4 months on Tern Island during April to August, 2008 as a volunteer. I'm now preparing for a 3 months volunteer stint on Midway beginning the 3rd week in February. Tern Island was great fun and your Midway blog makes me believe Midway will be also!
http://ternisland08.blogspot.com