Wednesday, October 10, 2012

June 28 - first hatching

Caribou herd from camp, a common sight

My day off today – slept in until ten and it was amazing. No other way to put it. Had some pancakes for brunch, entered some data since the sun ended up coming out, and then had a nice relaxing afternoon dragging a 50 meter long rope for about two miles with Scott.
Rope dragging is quite an effecting way to nest search on flat terrain, but more effort than just walking. We found three nests including my daily Semipalmated Sandpiper – 17 days in a row of finding a Semi Sandpiper nest now! We are over 250 nests for the season as of today, sadly over half are already terminated due to the predation pressure exacted by the foxes.

One of the nests we found today was of this Red-necked Phalarope - incredibly camouflaged on his nest. Just right of center you can see some rufous coloration, that is his hindneck.

The same male Red-necked Phalarope waiting to get back on his nest

We also, on a brighter note, had our first nest hatch today! A Semi Sandpiper nest successfully hatched four chicks as of today as seen by Brad and Mark -I hope they make it.
Only three more days here for Brad and Mark before they head back to civilization, and it is two thirds of the way through the season for the rest of us. Crazy! I also got word from home that my parents bought a house, and that I will have a minor amount of employment when I get back before school – so today was a good day!


Bill Ryan said...

It seems like predation is high. Kinda sad. Are foxes natural in that space? Some species could get devastated. Did it seem like you were at the edge of the world?

Ian Davies said...

It is indeed sad, but just a fact of life up there. Some years the foxes do well, other years the birds do well. It can vary spatially as well, with only 10 miles to one direction potentially having a fine year without foxes.
As for the edge of the world, when you're standing on the edge of the Arctic Ocean looking out across the ice, you can definitely get that feeling.