Tuesday, October 16, 2012

July 4 - independence day!

The moose that tried to crash our festivities

Today was great fun, a nice break from the normal work here. Woke up late, went to breakfast where we all had freedom toast (French toast), freedom fritters (hash browns), and the others partook in large amounts of bacon.
Following our meal all but one of us walked as a group down to the 7s, checking the nests that were due as we went. At one point we came across a really awesome migrant congregation of 65 Pectoral Sandpipers, 30 Semipalmated Sandpipers, and 2-3 Stilt Sandpipers, all hanging out in a habitat that usually has a very sparse spread of birds – really really cool to see on this foggy morning.
Our destination was the main bed of the Canning, which we reached in the late morning, and upon arrival began gathering firewood on the blustery floodplain. In our first few minutes there, while we were still getting firewood, a huge moose turned up out of nowhere, coming quite close and enabling us to get lots of photos. Strange to see one in a riverbed, many miles from any trees!

Not a great photo, but you can see that this guy is a bit out of his element

Once we had gotten enough wood we got a fire going and sat there for 4-5 hours, eating smores, baked potatoes, and listening to songs on portable speakers. A wonderful way to while away an afternoon. After our patriotic fire we walked back home and arrived at a camp that was on alert due to a bear nearby, down by the swamp just below the little rise that camp is on.
Watching from the bluff, we got to witness it approach the rafters’ camp, getting within 50 feet or so, but after the eight rafters all waved and shouted it turned tail and headed away at a pretty good clip, stopping about a kilometer away from camp. Really cool to see it stand on it’s hind legs – I wish I had been in their camp for a better angle and distance!

Mister bear below our camp

A couple hours later we went down to the rafters’ tent and had some wine and conversation with them, nice to talk to new faces and hear about their trip thus far. Back to work tomorrow, hope to see some chicks!

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