Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Back on the Mainland

I made it safely back to the mainland last Saturday. We had a very pleasant ride in fact. The seas were calm and the skies were clear. My time on the island was amazing. It went by in a flash. If I didn't have a beard, I would have thought it was a dream. I'm getting readjusted to normal life, well at least as normal as my life has been. Trying to get back to work (took today off to go birding).

Besides all of the awesome wildlife, I miss a few of the perks living on the Farallones. First, on the island you don't have to go grocery shopping. The milk may be going sour and the veggies starting to mold, but it was all there in the house. You don't always get what you want, but it's easy enough to make do with what you have. Second, when I want dinner I have to cook it myself. Out on the island we would rotate dinner duty, so you would end up cooking once or twice a week. And there were usually leftovers, so lunch was a snap too. Since there wasn't anywhere you could go, you never had to go anywhere. Most places on the island were easily reached in less than ten minutes. The scenery was always wonderful too. It seemed like every sunset was different than the last.

I left the island having seen 113 species of bird. Highlights for me were Sage Sparrow, nestling Ashy Storm-Petrel, banding Burrowing and Saw-whet Owls, and the Rock Sandpiper.

I've had my fill of the island for this year, but I think when next fall rolls around I'll be itching to get back out there. Thanks to anyone who has read the blog, hope you enjoyed it. I'll do my best to call and/or email folks. I'll leave you with some more photos.

Common Murres

Elephant Seal in the water

Sea Star

Elephant Seal flipper close-up


Cool clouds at sunrise on my last day

Leaving the island via the Billy Pugh

Me and the Farallones

One last sunset