This period brought us more uncooperative weather for large movements of landbirds, but we did get a slow trickle of fun new avian visitors. These included an adult Blue-footed Booby, our first Herring and Thayer's Gulls of the season, a Pectoral Sandpiper in the Zalophus wastelands, a Western Palm Warbler (a harbinger of the hordes), a Lapland Longspur, and a White-throated Sparrow. These were in addition to small numbers of more expected birds.
Burrowing Owls have been increasing, as is typical in the Fall. They arrive during peak mouse density, stay until the mouse population crashes, then switch over to eating Ashy Storm-Petrels: one sensitive species eating another--not an ideal situation. A recent arrival was "Tenacious D-15" below. This owl was banded last year and has returned to the same hole. It likes its hole and won't readily leave it. Witness:
|"I don't care how big you are."|
|"Come on in. The kettle's hot."|
|This Lapland Longspur would briefly visit a disgusting puddle near the lighthouse, then disappear for minutes to hours. Not everyone was able to see it during its 2-day stay.|
|This lichen (lichens?), as far as I can tell, is limited to the metal railing around the lighthouse. What does this mean?|
Ron Elliot has also returned to dive around the island, as he has every year since the 1980s. He's the only regular visitor (pretty much the only visitor, period) to dive without a shark cage. Watch this excellent video about Ron, featuring footage from the islands--it's worth your time.
|Jacob "I Know John Garrett" Drucker recently had a birthday. Don Mastwell made him some kind of chocolate corn cake. It was structurally disingenuous.|