As I settled into life at the Refuge, and the study of AMOY, I started taking a few more photos on the job (though regrettably still not enough).
During this week, Allison and I learned to find AMOY nests, we learned quite a bit about AMOY nesting behavior, and we even attempted our first nest exclosure. At the Refuge, I had started regularly driving the loop and studying shorebirds there. Finally, Anne came down for her first visit to the Refuge…
Tom's surfing friend, whose name I can't recall, came by to help us erect our first exclosure. There are two AMOY eggs in the middle of the exclosure.
Closer image of the two AMOY eggs
Allison, Tom, and Tom's friend at the first nest site
Tom standing next to the first exclosure of the season
Here, Allison is planting iButtons under AMOY nests. You can see she is crouched next to some eggs, with more eggs about a meter in front of her. This was an unexplained situation wherein it appeared that one pair of AMOY built two nesting scrapes within a meter of each other and actually layed eggs in both scrapes. In the end, both of the nests were wiped out, I think that night, and so I don't believe we collected enough data to learn the whole story.
Allison working at the second scrape
The two scrapes with two eggs each
Great Egret in the morning sun
Snowy Egret prowling the shallows
Multiple Snowy Egrets foraging together in the shallows - note that the two left-most SNEG have reddish/orange lores, unlike the right individual with yellow lores. That reddish/orange color indicates that these birds are in breeding mode and are probably more than two years old.
Glossy Ibis feeding in a freshwater pool at the Refuge
I recovered this dead bird wrapped in fishing line with two embedded hooks in his head and neck. Please pick up fishing line whenever you see it.
That's one of the hooks in his chin
Another angle on the dead bird. I found this guy in the marshes off of LBI and brought it back to the volunteer house. I thought the biologists might be interested and when Kevin saw what I had, he ran inside and grabbed his book on identification of washed-up dead sea birds. We keyed the ID in using the parts of the bird that we did have... any guesses?
Mute Swan - the invasive bully of the eastern marshes
My lifer Clapper Rail poked out for just a moment before disappearing into the reeds.
Green-winged Teal walking across the mudflats
Red-winged Blackbird singing from some marsh grass. Is that a potential meal nearby?
A small island literally covered with Plovers, almost all Black-bellied but I think might have been some American Goldens.
You'd think the saltmarsh environment would lend itself to Northern Harriers, but alas this was the only NOHA I saw at the Refuge all summer!
Resident Canada Geese and their brood - in April!
Willet, eastern subspecies
Forster's Tern in flight
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron on the mud, probably hunting Fiddler Crabs
Anne took this photo of me in my Refuge-wear. I'm up on the boardwalk with the saltmarsh behind me.