Monday, June 27, 2011

Twilight Photography

Maybe not quite twilight, but I went out last evening while the sun was lower on the horizon in an attempt to get a few nice bird photos. I haven't had much time for serious photography lately, so at 10:30pm, I hit the tundra. We found a Bar-tailed Godwit nest a while back. The male has a HUGE range over the plot, and follows us around and yells at us everywhere we go. He is very tame and runs around us like a chicken. I had hopes of getting him last night, but he was incubating and the female took over guard duty.

She may have provided me with my best picture of the season... so far.
I also decided to see what the Long-tailed Jaegers were doing. Pretty much the same thing they always do. I still couldn't get a great shot.
There is a Black-bellied Plover nest in the same area. Both male and female were not pleased to see me. Here is the male, quite a looker!
Since I've only been posting pics lately, I think I'll let you in on whats going on in the Colville, work related. Semipalmated Sandpipers are hatching and being predated at a pretty even rate. It is a tough life when Jaegers, Glaucous Gulls, Arctic and Red Fox, and even Ruddy Turnstones want to eat your eggs. Dunlin are on the cusp of hatching, with eggs "starred" and "pipped", they are ready to go. Phalaropes are just starting to nest, so we will have them to deal with after all the other birds are busy brooding and young-rearing. We saw a group of approx. 18 Semipalmated Sandpipers, presumably failed breeders, feeding and looking like they want to migrate. Can't blame them.

The weather has been sunny and warm, and this morning was a huge mosquito hatch. With no wind in the morning, there were periods where I struggled to breathe the clouds of bugs were so bad. Luckily the brisk NE wind picked up and the clouds dissipated. Lets hope the wind sticks around for the rest of the season.

Butterflies remain lousy with only Booth's Sulphur and Polaris Fritillary being seen. I'm now confident on both of the ID's after doing some internet research.

And, if you are still reading this, you'll be pleased to hear I finally showered and did laundry after 39 days in the field. And by doing laundry, I mean rubbing socks and underwear and a few shirts and pants on a washboard. Apparently I suck at using washboards because my socks still smell like.... well, socks.

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