So after my recon trip last week onto the peninsula, I went back for round 2! I had a most wonderful paddle to the peninsula, at looow tide so I was forced to take a scenic route but what nice calm waters. It was a beautiful day, clear skies, sun beating down but man the water was still icy cold! Arriving safely, I geared up! I bought a fisherman’s jacket, with lots of pockets and hooks, to put all my bits and pieces of equipment in, rather than lug a backpack around. I’m impressed by how much I was able to fit in! It does feel a bit nerdy though.. But it’s just me and the gulls for now. I was hoping to find some eggs on this trip and had made some nest markers but alas alack after walking my designated study area there were no eggs. The goose was still there, with her eggs but no chicks, yet. So I ended up marking 27 nest scrapes, the ones that appeared tended to, a defined bowl ready for eggs. Each nest has a unique number for that site, and the GPS co-ordinates recorded; imagine trying to find nest 25 in a sea of nests! After that, I decided to take a quick walk deeper into the colony to see if there were eggs further into the vegetation and I did find a nest with an egg, just not a Kelp Gull nest! I have become relatively accustomed to the outrageous raucous protest the gulls raise when there is an intruder in the colony, but strange noises seem to stand out. The strange noises in this case belonged to a pair of Caspian Terns, and I was able to find their nest with one lone egg. It is very exciting that this species is breeding on the peninsula! But I high-tailed it out of the area once I took a quick picture of the egg so they could return to their nest; gulls are well known for their predation on eggs and chicks. This trip has given me a taste of things to come, the work that is involved and how I will need to conduct it. It is going to be an interesting few months!
|Getting ready to build a nest.|
|The goose nest.|
|Me in my new habitat, cool fisherman's jacket and feather in my hat.|
|Nest number 7.|
|Nest number 9.|
|Nest number 22.|