Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy 2009

The volunteers had another busy week with the birds. Every week they either have to read the band on every albatross on an egg. They switch weeks to do Black-footed one week and Laysans the next. It usually takes them about 3 or 4 full days to get that done. While they do that I usually take care of the admin stuff, learn some more about this place, inventory everything on the island, and fix whatever broke recently or needs fixing. This week it was water filters, the warehouse wall, the boats, covering a large pipe so no one falls in, and a some other random jobs.
Since we're out of the holiday season now and are going to be back to 6 days a week, we should be able to do quite a bit more around here. We got out snorkeling on New Year's Day, so that was nice. The current was really fast near the island though, so we really couldn't stop to look at things, but I got a couple of pictures. The white-tip sharks were there as usual. The girls counted 6 of them at once. I couldn't really count them becuase I couldn't tell if I was seeing new ones or the same 2 every time. At least we don't have to do counts of all the fish around here.

Here's a snorkel pic at sunset with some water drops on the lens.

This is an old Jeep that the Coast Guard (or the Navy????) dumped in the water when they were done with it

This black-footed albatross got a net caught on it. It probably had fish eggs attached to it, which these birds love. A few snips with the scissors took care of it, but the net had worn into the skin a little and was blocking it's throat a little too. It's doing fine now.

I haven't shown you a white tern since my Midway blog, so here's one.

I thought at first that the bird in back was a white tern, but it's actually a brown noddy that's almost albino. It's bill and eyes are dark though. It was born a couple of months ago so its about the same age as the bird in front. We never see albino or almost albino adults of any birds around here. We think that them being in the sun all the time does them in.

The male great frigatebirds are starting to practice attracting the females. They aren't quite ready to nest yet though.


Barry said...

Very interesting.

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Jana said...

Hope you have a good week!!Must be nice to snorkel during the holiday season. I’m jealous!!! I got to shovel 4 feet of snow.

Seagull Steve said...

Hey Pete, I was wondering what kind of camera/cameras you've been using out on Tern and Midway. Im heading out to Midway for the first time (stoked!) as a volunteer next month and wondering if I should get a new camera for the trip.....but I also know that everything is pretty approachable. Any advice?

Shammickite said...

Great pics as usual, love reading about all your adventures out there in the Pacific.

Pete Leary said...

Thanks for the comments again. I'm not sure about that one from Barry(????). I don't usually allow links or advertising, but it looks legit.

Steve, I'm using a Canon EOS Rebel XTi. I have an 18-55 lens and a 100-300 zoom with image stabilization. It takes nice enough pictures, so I like it. There's a few small issues with it, so you could get a Nikon or something if you prefer. Definitely get a 300 zoom if you can afford the nice cameras.

I also have a little Olympus Stylus 1030 SW for underwater and carrying in the boat. There are better underwater cameras, but it's small and versatile (and you can smack it around pretty good and it will still work). On Midway, I would take my nice camera in the boat, just don't take it out in the spray. I only got the little camera when I came to Tern. I've seen volunteers come with nice cameras and just decent point and shoots. It's up to you. I couldn't get most of these shots with a little point and shoot, especially the birds.

Have a great time on Midway. I'm sure you will.