lex: Longarm Prime complete with noodly appendages. (NOODLE ARMS)
[personal profile] lex
Day 1: Getting to the island was a bit of a pain. Google sent me to the wrong Park And Ride, but that worked out eventually. I started crocheting a shawl while waiting for the taxi. As usual, I got sunburned on the boat ride over. I will never learn to put on sunscreen, apparently. The two banders I'll be working with were on the same boat - Lindsay is about my age, and we've met before and got along great, and Liz is an older woman who is just fantastic. I greatly enjoyed the salt water as the wake splashed all over me. XD

The rest of the day was spent unpacking our stuff, then unpacking the station and getting everything set up for the season. I tried very hard to be useful despite knowing nothing about where things were or what we needed. We didn't get the nets up that evening, just called it an early night. The gulls kept waking me up, though they get much quieter after dark.

Day 2: WE SLEPT IN. What luxury! I got up at 6am and took my time organizing my stuff, doing some crochet, and then just hanging out in the commons. It has such a beautiful view of the ocean and half the island. The whole thing is so tiny - I could walk end to end in about 15 minutes. And that's the long way! The short way is like... three minutes. If that. I love this place.

We got the nets set up and open by 11am. Time to do the real work! Right away we had a flush of birds. It took me a couple of birds to get my head back into extraction, but the banders helped and kept watch. Their teaching is mostly hands-off, just advice on how to approach a serious problem. I keep having issues with pinfeathers on the head catching the net and holding onto it for dear life. Just put a finger on the tip of the beak and wiggle the right square of net and it SHOULD pop off, but gosh these baby catbirds are determined to stick like glue to that net. They're mostly what we're getting, too. A flush of baby catbirds.

We did recapture a bird that had been banded three years previous, so we put color bands on it! I got to help decide what combination. It got a red one over the numbered aluminum band, and the other leg got white over purple. Yes indeed, there is now a Decepticon Yellow Warbler! XD

The flies ate me alive. It was a bad day for shorts. Blood everywhere. The end.

Somehow the Decepticon bird wasn't the highlight of the day. Nope. It was a CRAZY day. We've had a whole bunch of kids coming through, from about 5 to 18 years old. Well, when we had a bunch of birds and a bunch of kids, all of a sudden we get called outside to help remove a band from a gull chick with a swollen leg. Well, it turned out the leg was very badly broken and the circulation was cut off from the foot. It was just dead weight, literally. So Lindsay and one of the boat captains performed an amputation on the picnic table outside the banding station. I am so sad I missed almost all of it - I had to wrangle the birds inside. But I am told the chick is moving MUCH better now, and the parents might still be feeding it. It has a chance now, instead of being doomed to sepsis.

Pictures so far:


The newly-minted Decepticon!


A hatch-year Chestnut-sided Warbler, of extremely indeterminate sex. What a lovely green!


I finally stuck my courage to the sticking place and took a woodpecker out of the net. I had the chance last year but passed it up and regretted it ever since. No longer! This Downy Woodpecker baby was aaalllll mine.
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