Between school, trying to figure out a curriculum for the students we will be presenting to, and the typical Colorado weather, it seemed like we would never be able to get out to do a bird survey. But finally, after weeks of patience, the Blanca crew (also known as “Team Bug”) was able to go out for our first survey yesterday!! For those of you who are wondering, there really was not a lot out yet, mainly American Avocets, Killdeer, and an occasional Willet.
For years, I had heard the horror stories of people doing surveys out there and getting their vehicle stuck in the thick clay mud that occurs on the roads around the ponds when they get wet. To be completely honest, it was one of my fears when I took this internship, and previously when I was helping the crews working out there with other surveys.
Yesterday during the survey on our first pond, I was driving and we were moving around the ponds and the mud without any problem. It was a rainy morning, but we were having a great day out. After all, a bad day in the field is better than a good day sitting in school. We had just finished the survey on the first pond and were about to head to our second pond, and the road we were on was what I would call “greasy.” That is when the earth decided to eat the tires of the car and not let us move any further. Laughing, because it was not as big of a deal as I had imagined, we made the call on the radio for the crew with the truck and wench to come pull us out.
When helped arrived they asked who was driving. Guilty, I put my hands up and they laughed. “Welcome to the crew, you are an official member,” is what I was told. So if anyone wants to join the club, come out for a drive at Blanca Wetlands after a wet couple of weeks. Once you get stuck and have to get pulled out, you will become an official member. We have jackets.