I really don’t want to think about the number of miles or the total elevation lost and gained that were traveled to find our first bird but it finally paid off with the discovery of our first bird (and second) to document for the volunteer COASST program.
This was only our second year for this site, and actually our first full year. Last year we had a late start as we waited for the permits to make their way through the system. I mention this because it makes is somewhat difficult to come up with any hard conclusions regarding the data.
The trail was heavily overgrown compared to our first trip out in early May. I felt Theresa’s absence like a weight on my back. Bending down for a better look I saw yet another bit of cougar scat. Unlike the previous trip this was obviously not fresh but that didn’t keep my head from constantly swiveling as I started up the trail to Scott’s Bluff.
Looking toward the northwest I observed the dark clouds with a deep suspicion. Last time we attempted to conduct a bird survey on Toleak Beach we were hammered by wind and rain. I double checked the forecast. Saturday had a much better forecast but today the tides were better. A bit of a gamble -- which way to choose?
It’s hard to say what’s going on, but for our first time out to Site 277 we certainly found much less in our traps this weekend with 2 traps totally empty. Is it the time of year or is something else going on?
As I was crawling through the rain slick log jam, I thought, “This can’t be the rain I’m feeling, it can’t be raining that hard, the surf must be dumping on the logs”! Well, it was both. And that was in direct competition with all the noise. This time the battle was between the wind in the tree tops and the dumping surf. Was I on Toleak Beach or an alien world.?
I’ve been anxious to work with this group for sometime. When I submitted my application last year, I was disappointed to find out that I had missed all of the bird workshops scheduled for 2017. But, as they say, good things come to those who wait.
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