Spring, Snow, Shorebird Surveys!
It is April and many places are seeing signs of spring! Warmer weather, flowers blooming and birds are chirping. Here in Cordova we have seen some warm days these past weeks and I enjoy seeing songbirds like Pine Siskins, Red Polls and many others at feeders outside the Forest Service Office. But we are continuing to get snow! I am still fascinated to experience these snowy days.
Shorebird surveys are just around the corner for me here. Thousands of shorebirds are on their way from their wintering grounds along the Pacific Flyway. They usually arrive to the Copper River Delta in the beginning of May. To get ready for my shorebird surveys I am getting familiar with the tides in the mudflats at Hartney Bay, an area where I will be doing my surveys. Jillian, another intern with the Forest Service in the Cordova Ranger District came out with me to prepare for my surveys. We went out to Hartney Bay to mark some high tides, which will help me determine the best time to be conducting my surveys during high tide and where to expect the tides to be at that time. We marked an 8.5 foot high tide with some rocks in several spots at Hartney Bay. These markers and taking pictures of where the high tide reached will help us compare it to a 10 foot tide which will be marked later this week. The mudflats were still covered in some snow from the day before! But snow cannot stop me from preparing for my shorebird surveys and with some rain boots we ventured through the snow and down to the mudflats. It was my first time walking out in the mudflats of Hartney Bay and I enjoyed getting my boots muddy and exploring the area. The sunset from Hartney bay was another enjoyable part of this day.