Thursday, October 25, 2007

Spirits High - Day 1

I finally made it to Southeast Farallon Island on Oct. 22 after being delayed for two days due to rough seas. I arrived on the Superfish, a boat that takes people out to the island to see sharks. They were kind enough to let me (and two other biologists) hitch a ride out. The trip was fairly smooth and I even saw a few seabirds. To actually set foot onto the island you have to hop onto a smaller boat, which they lower down from the island to the water with a crane. You then motor back and the whole boat gets plucked out of the water and deposited on land.

After moving all of our gear to the PRBO house (one of two houses on the island) I was ready to bird. The weather had been favorable for birds to be on the island. During fall migration birds can get lost or blown off course, and if they are near the island they will take refuge here. Over the past 40 years they have recorded over 400 species on the island. Not bad for an island with only 4 trees! On SEFI (as it's abbreviated) you must expect the unexpected. On my first day I saw a Baltimore Oriole (a bird of the Eastern US) and a Northern Saw-whet Owl (a bird of deep forests) among others.

After an exciting day of travel and birding, we sat down to a communal meal and recorded all of the days birds in the journal. We had an amazing sunset (I saw a green fizzle) and I was a happy man.


Ted said...

Little Marcus is on his way to hosting Discovery Channel Specials.. And here I am squeezing fish.....
Way to go bud.. Take lots of pics.

Jasper said...

You're so cool, Mark. I'd kill to go birding with you on that island. Maybe when you're back in the Bay Area. Good luck.


Renee said...

Hi Mark,got the blog site from your mom I love the pictures keep them coming. The island looks like Alcatraz only a lot prettier. Hope it doesn't get to cold there for you.Have a Happy Thanksgiving will be thinking of you. Be safe
Always Aunt Dorothy