Monday, August 17, 2015

Who needs enemies...

   Good evening dear readers--and welcome back to the land of TPAD.

   Rob Rockly has arrived safely on Southeast Farallon Island (hereafter, SEFI) after an uneventful trip under the Golden Gate and a much-better-than-expected sail (forecast 7-9 feet at 8 seconds and 20-30 knot winds...less-than-pleasant).  He is accompanied by the inimitable James "El Jefe" Tietz, Laurel Ann "Boo" Curry, Jonathan "The Shoe" Shore and Coulter "Coltrane" Cook.  They were met on the island by the outgoing seabird crew and will be joined for the first three weeks by Eva "The Pollard" Gruber.

This is a Tufted Puffin.  The first few weeks of the Fall crew are blessed by the constant presence of these wonderful creatures--and the population on SEFI is increasing.  This is objectively good news as no one wants fewer Puffins.  No one.
   Day 0.5 and 1.0 are now over (I'm writing this on day 2.5, don't tell, thanks) and have been busy getting things ordered, organized, and ready for the waves of migrants which are surely in our future. The species list is low but is slowly crawling upwards and onwards--the first land-bird spotted was a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (not a common bird on the island, ~60th record) followed by Bullock's Oriole and Lark Sparrow.  The slow trickle, God willing, will burst forth into a deluge over the coming weeks.

"I want a mustache."
   WHICH BRINGS US TO: The Battle of 2015.  An unexpected declaration of war was made by various inhabitants of an island to the south.  Emperor Stahl of San Clemente Island sent a carefully worded diplomatic dispatch that read, more or less,

"San Clemente Island will rise to claim the Crown of Fall Migration.  Let the battle begin!"

What does this mean?  It means that the two island crews will tally their respective daily lists and see who comes out on top.  Updates will be posted (along with the usual eBird checklists) on each blog post (Current score: 31:32, SEFI in the lead).

A final note: the posts this year might come out the day after actual events.  It is too difficult (usually) to get posts out at a reasonable hour at the end of a long day.  All of this is done with The Readership's best interests at heart.

I will leave you with further Puffin.  Things could be worse. Much worse.

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