Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Full of Holes - Day 23

Let's see, lots going on, like always. We are still monitoring for oiled wildlife. I went out on the boat yesterday to look for oiled birds. We saw a few. Thankfully we are only seeing a handful of oiled birds each day. Sadly, even a small spot of oil can prove fatal. Either the bird ingests the oil while preening, or if it's a diving bird the lack of insulation could lead to hypothermia. I know things are much worse at the coast and several of my PRBO co-workers are putting in 16 hour days cleaning birds.
A few days ago three of the crew left and three new people arrived on the island. I was sad to see Jenny, Sophie, and Tony go, but you have to leave sometime. I've still got another 2 1/2 weeks to go. The birds seem to be slowing down, but a migrant wave could still come.

Good birds lately have been Long-eared Owl and Harris's Sparrow.

More island info. The Farallones have been beaten by the weather for a long time and consequently it's full of holes. There are two big rocks with holes in them, Arch Rock and Great Arch. There are several small arches, like Low Arch and Funky Arch. Along the shoreline are numerous caves that the water rushes in and out of. Some of these have openings many meters inland. There are some other caves above the waterline that were formed when the sea level was higher, including a pretty big one called Rabbit Cave. Then there are the innumerable small cracks and crevices which the Cassin's Auklets and Ashy Storm-Petrels love to nest in. So pretty much anywhere you look, you'll see a hole. This place is falling apart!
Arch Rock (rock on the right with a hole in it, duh)

Low Arch (because it's low)

Blowhole Point (water rushes in a cave and comes shooting out a small crack)

Rabbit Cave (deep in the bowels of the island)

Another gorgeous day (preceded by some rainy, foggy ones)

1 comment:

Tony said...

Dude, it comes to this eh? Slap stick and lewd jokes--lonely yet? We have some news for you... but you'll have call us to get it.