It was the most anticipated week of the summer. Nest Island Monitoring in the Copper River Delta.
Our home base was at Dusky Camp out on Alaganik Slough. I absolutely loved being out in the field. Never mind the no-seeums, mosquitos, white sox and horse flies or the exhausting work we did. The incredible amount of wildlife on the delta made it all so worth it. The coyotes howling did startle me late one night, but watching a brown bear take off sprinting from the slough made my heart pump! What made my entire summer though was paddling up to an island and finding a drowsy baby duck chilling on the island (I got to pat its head and watch it yawn.)
I learned so much and enjoyed every minute I spent with the crew. There were so many cool plants such as sphagnum, bog orchids and equisetum. I quickly came to dislike the lily pads, despite their beauty, because they’re really hard to paddle through!
At the end of the day, I appreciated every hurdle, because I felt like I was getting to learn the intricate contours of the delta better by facing these challenges. I also got a lot more muscle hauling my kayak through the bogs, punching through tree lines and jumping over beaver dams.
From seven in the morning to five in the afternoon, we were hustling, and it paid off because we got every island monitored, with the exception of one or two islands that disappeared because of too many lily pads.
I definitely can’t wait to go back to Dusky Camp. Until next time!