Monday, July 6, 2009

A Normal Week

It was a “normal” week on Tern Island. At least for us. The usual projects are still going on; seal monitoring, shark tagging, bird banding, and a lot of other smaller projects. We had an extra day off this week for the 4th of July holiday. That was nice, but for most weeks, 2 days off is too much. I don't know if I mentioned it before, but we work 6 days a week here. Any more than one day off and people usually end up doing work projects anyway. Besides, there's really nowhere to go.

It's been fairly calm here this week, so we snorkeled on the outer side of the atoll. It's similar to the inside of the reef, but there's a lot more coral growing out there, and bigger schools of fish. I would show you a picture, but I had to send my little camera back for repair. The battery compartment won't register as closed, so it won't take any pictures. I also had other camera trouble. My lens for my nice camera went bad, (won't focus anymore). I had to send both off on the Sette with Dave, and he mailed them off. I hope I get them back when our next mail ship gets here in about 5 weeks. I still have my 100-300 mm zoom lens and an old 35-105 lens for my Canon. So I can still take some new pictures, and at least both things are still under warranty. I have enough pictures to keep showing new ones anyway, even if I couldn't take new ones for 5 more weeks.

Thanks for posting again, Dasha!

Here's a bird I haven't shown you before. It's a Bulwer's Petrel. It looks a lot like a Christmas Shearwater (which I've shown you), and a lot like a Tristram's Storm Petrel (which I haven't shown you). These birds are bigger than a Tristram's and smaller than a Christmas, but they all look pretty similar- nondescript, brown birds. Normally these birds live in holes or under things so you don't get pictures of them just sitting around in the daytime, but this little troublemaker was trying to nest under the tractor tire, so I have to keep putting him outside, until he finds somewhere better to nest. They have a weird call too. They sound like dogs off in the distance, “woof, woof, woof”.

Here's a fat little monk seal pup born this year. This little guy came swimming by while I was behind the seawall, so he couldn't see me. We always try to stay 150 ft from all of the seals, to minimize disturbance to them, but it would have been more of a disturbance for me to jump up and run away, than to sit and let it go by. This is one of the times that I was glad I still had my good zoom lens.

I haven't shown you a Gray-backed tern chick yet either. Here's one with its parent. They like to nest out in the open on the rubble.

Here's what that little chick will look like in a few more weeks. This one is almost ready to fly.

Another 50,000 reasons that we don't fly in April-August. For some reason, the sooty terns really like the runway.

A little bunch of Masked boobies are holding their ground on the runway. They like it there too, but there are not that many of them.


Forest and Kim said...

Aloha Pete,

Sorry to hear about the camera gear, our trigger button just went out on us. Great shots and info. Happy 4th.

Forest & Kim

WS2000 said...

I love the boobies! Too bad there is not more of them.