Thursday, January 16, 2014

Earthwatch Team One: Day One

Today, we split the volunteers into two groups. One group went to El Garrapaterro to catch birds and process them, while the other stayed in town and did feeding and density observations. Both teams enjoyed the tasks, despite the early morning wake up calls (4.30am for the EG team and 5.30 for the observation team). I was heading the observation team and we did a transect through the area we normally catch birds when we are at the Charles Darwin Research Station, and we also did the walk from the Station to the entrance. We saw many things including two mockingbirds defending their nest against an ani (no pictures, sorry), nest building, mating displays, and lots of hungry finches munching on all sorts of plants. The EG team caught 11 birds, a nice morning’s work! The afternoon saw the EG team catch another 11 birds at the research station while the observation team entered all their data from that morning and did lunch for the group.

A flycatcher cleaning itself. Kind of like what we did after a hard day's work in the field...

The saddest part of the day was realizing Caroline, our program manager, would be leaving us, and so the volunteers planned ways to keep Caroline here. She would have to stay to resolve any potential problems, and many plans were put forth. Warren would threaten to never go on another Earthwatch expedition! He’s on his 80th, and has booked his 81st, so we thought that would be a credible problem. Another plan was to refuse to wake up at 4.30, which would cause us problems. A third plan was for someone to lead a group astray, to cause within group strife.

However, none of the plans came to fruition, so Caroline will be leaving on Friday.... Very sad :-(

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