Another beautiful day at Eastern Island today. My team went in and knocked out sector 4 in half a day even while we were running out of paint. No paint is a very bad thing. Without paint, you have no idea where you have been and what you have counted. We scrounged up enough to get our job done. It was a good counting day.
Real Short Tailed Albatross center right of the decoys.
After lunch at the beach, we went down to sector 6 to sneak a peek at the nesting Short Tailed Albatross. Another team had counted around her earlier in the morning and she was a little stressed. When we got down there, she had her head up just long enough for us to find her and then she tucked her bill back into her wing and disappeared into a sea of albatrosses. At least she was a little more relaxed while we were there.
Female Frigatebird in snag.
Mystery duck. Looks like a mallard, but not quite. Might be a hybrid. I’ll let you know if the mystery gets solved.
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After the great party last night, I thought I would sleep in. And I did until 6:30. Woke up and it was breakfast time so I decided to go eat. We do a lot of that around here. The grand Christmas feast started at 11:30 and we all eat until we are stuffed and then make plates for dinner. I haven’t eaten this much in months. Thank goodness we go back to a little bit more normal eating schedule tomorrow. The Clipper House starts to have this Pavlovian effect on you. I started walking over for Christmas dinner thinking I wasn’t hungry and then as I started to step up to the porch, I’m suddenly starved.
Short Tailed Albatross 12/25/2013
After breakfast, I went to Rusty Bucket. It’s the western end of North Beach. It’s one of the prettiest places on the island to me. Of course I saw lots of albatross and I saw Midway Canaries, Bristle Thighed Curlew, and Black Noddies. After the feast, I rode down to the airstrip and saw the young Short Tailed Albatross. He’s probably around 20 years old now. Almost all of his dark neck juvenal plumage is gone. In the photo to the right, the black footed albie and the Laysan albie in the fore ground are in the same plane. The black foot by the short tailed gives you and idea of how much bigger the short tails are. You can see just a touch of darkness still at the base of his neck. That will probably be gone next year. And yes that is a pink bill with a blue tip.
Short Tailed Albatross 12/25/2010
Location, location, location
Incubation exchange. It can take a while for the incoming bird to convince the incubating bird that it is time to switch. There always seems to be a bit of a conversation over the job.
This little canary may soon be considered a subspecies of the canary family. They were released on the island by someone who was here during the Navy era.
Bristled Thighed Curlew
Laysan Albatross at Rusty Bucket
2013 Christmas Stocking
It has become a tradition to decorate our doors for Christmas. This year, we got here so late that I didn’t have time to go beach combing for marine debris until today. And look what I found, a Christmas stocking. It’s always fun to do these kinds of things.
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