Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Hatching and Leaving

The shorebirds are already flocking up and seem to be migrating. Female Red Phalarope have been absent for days, Pectoral Sandpipers are present in large numbers and roaming the tundra, and shorebirds, geese and the other arctic breeders are busy hatching and raising young. We have been very busy gathering data on hatch dates for all the species we can. I banded about 50 Semipalmated Sandpiper chicks, so hopefully a few will be captured in the years to come. Butterflies are hatching, and I've seen Polaris and Frigga Fritillary (I thought Polaris was biennial, but have seen them two summers in a row here), and Booth's and Hecla Sulphur. Nothing new from last year, but I'll keep an eye out.

Due to the insanely busy schedule since my last post, I haven't had much time for photography. Yesterday I was able to spend some "free" time photographing the ridiculously cooperative Stilt Sandpiper at it's nest. It was too close for my long lens, so I resorted to my 90mm macro. This lens is incredibly sharp!

The ptarmigan are also hatching young, and this male was sizing me up.

This Parasitic Jaeger tried to lead me away from their nest with some sort of floppy, injured bird dance type thing.

My next few weeks will consist of banding a few more adult shorebirds and monitoring the rest of the active nests. The weeks after that will be riddled with data entry. Hopefully some exciting birds will be moving through!

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