Sunday, September 13, 2009

New volunteers and rain

I got the new helpers on Monday. I'm glad that Adam and Sarah are still around to help show them the ropes. Ty is catching on quick for all the "acting manager" jobs that he'll have around here while I'm at training and on vacation. He says it reminds him of working on a ranch, with all the cooking, cleaning, and other chores that everyone has to pitch in on. He also said, "You have a really cool job". I know.
We finally got some rain. The problem is that it came the day the plane was bringing more construction workers. They got here and the visibility was terrible and there were big lakes on the runway. They flew over, took a look, then flew back to Honolulu. It rained again the next night, so we got up early and took brooms and spread all of the puddles around to dry them out. It was a pretty big job to get that done. It ended up being pretty dry so at least the plane could land on Wednesday. It was a bit muddy though. I'm hoping it doesn't rain on the 21st, since that's when I'm supposed to be flying off.
I finally got a Sunday off today, so I went snorkeling with the new people, went for a run, and watched "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels". So absolutely no work today. The construction guys worked a half day, and were glad they could get finally get off the hot roof for a bit.

Here comes some of our supplies and new volunteers. The Kahana is in the background.

I'm training Ty on how to get through the little channels to get to the other islands. We took our lunch along and ate it on Trig Island. I think we need one palm tree on this island. I believe some introductions are in order; Sarah, Erika, Alex, Ty, Adam, and Katie are in the picture.

Here is one of two Bristle-thighed curlews that are visiting right now. They usually prefer the other atolls for some reason. They nest in Alaska and take their winters on islands and atolls throughout the pacific. Last I heard there's only about 7,000 of them in the world.

This is the other curlew that's here. I'm glad it got this grasshopper. It's invasive and we're trying to get rid of them. It was interesting to watch the bird try to kill the grasshopper before it could eat it. It would shake it up to stun it, then slam it on the ground, and catch it again before it could get away. These grasshoppers are tough, this one is about 4" long and even a stomp with the old shoe usually doesn't phase them. These birds will also eat other birds eggs, which they crack open by hitting them with rocks.

Here's another uncommon shorebird I haven't shown you before. The little light colored bird is a sanderling. The other 4 are ruddy turnstones. The turnstones are always around but there are only a couple of sanderlings here each season.


Anonymous said...

I love checking out your blog and especially your pics. Have a great vacation.

Tim Schulze

Pete Leary said...

Thanks Tim, I'll let you know if I'm going to be in the neighborhood while I'm on the mainland.

Gloria said...

Please tell Joshua Rigterink I love him! Tell him to call his momma soon! It's been to long. Must be having to much fun. Hope you are all enjoying his presence.
Gloria (Joshes Mom)

Sin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sin said...

watched a program about Tern island on tv and i started googling it.Came across yr blog and i have to say i love your blog!beautiful beautiful pictures!