Where does a dead whale go? After death, if the carcass ends up on a beach, it plays an important role in its surrounding terrestrial ecosystem.
Despite the foulness riding the breeze from the south, curiosity kept us moving forward. We knew we had to be close to our target.
Tides and weather are the keys to whether we have can conduct a successful bird survey. Tides are predictable; the weather has been anything but this year.
We haven’t had quite the cold weather we usually get but the wind has been remorselessly beating up Washington and playing havoc with our attempts to get to our beach for a COASST survey
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.
Bending down for a better look I saw yet another bit of cougar scat. It wasn't 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 deep suspicion. Last time we attempted to conduct a bird survey on Toleak Beach we were hammered by wind and rain.
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.