This week has been a whirlwind. The shorebird festival has come and gone, my surveys are almost over, and we’re about done with dusky nest searches. This is a crazy time at the Forest Service because this is when field season is starting. Tons of seasonal workers are joining the ranks and everybody is going out into the field.
The shorebird festival was great! I completed my mural/installation of kid’s artwork, and it was out on display during the festival. The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders who contributed felt proud to see their work up and out in public. It felt like an appropriate culmination to the lessons and activities I had coordinated with them the week prior. Tour de Peeps, the bird-themed bike ride, was also a success. About 35 people attended and kids and adults alike learned cool bird facts at each station along the bike route. The kids loved the shorebird scavenger hunt too. My shorebird surveys have been going swimmingly, and I have had no shortage of help from aspiring and accomplished birders. Our peak number of birds counted in a day was over 18,000. This sounds like a lot, but it’s low compared to the 30,000 sighted last year or the hundreds of thousands seen in other years. People have been speculating that perhaps the bad weather kept them at bay. I also heard that our small window of nice weather perhaps gave them the perfect opportunity to move along. Either way, the brief experience I had surrounded by these birds was amazing.
Updates on dusky nest searches next week! See you then!