Thursday, October 1, 2009

Back on a rock - a day late and a shrike short

Well I'm back out on Southeast Farallon Island.  Got here on September 26th and will be here for four weeks.  Shorter than my two past trips, but I think it will be a good length.  I'll try to get as many blog posts in as possible, but the internet (as always) is very spotty out here.

So a couple days before I arrived a Brown Shrike was found and banded on the island.  For those of you who aren't birders, this is an amazing bird.  This was only the third record for California.  One of the other sightings was from the island as well.  The shrike lives in Asia, so it traveled a very long distance to get here.  It left the island by the time I got there.  I'm very bitter that I missed it by one day, but there's nothing you can do about it. Maybe I'll get over it in a few years.

The weather hasn't been ideal to bring birds to the island, but we did have a nice group of birds show up on the 27th.  They included Painted Bunting, Bay-breasted Warbler, and Prairie Warbler (which I found and banded).

Just to remind everyone, the work I do out on Southeast Farallon Island (SEFI) is volunteer work for PRBO Conservation Science.  PRBO is also the organization I work for the rest of the year, you can find out more about them at  SEFI also has a blog where we post bird sightings and photos,  The Farallons are a National Wildlife Refuge and PRBO is contracted to conduct wildlife monitoring here, so without the support of the USFWS we couldn't do any of this great work.

One more plug.  PRBO has a fundraiser every fall called a Bird-a-thon, where counters go out and bird watch for one continuous 24 hr period and try to see as many species as they can.  They try to get sponsors to donate money per species seen.  It it our biggest fundraiser as we appreciate any help we can get.  I recently completed my Bird-a-thon (125 species), but you can still donate at

I pre-beared this year since I'm only out for a month


Gulls at sunset

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