Busy and Exciting Week!

As I was standing on my back deck enjoying the sun and the progress I have made in our garden, I heard a “whirr” of the speedy wing beats of a lovely hummingbird. The gorgeous brightly colored bird flew right up to the lavender plant on my deck. The next thing I knew, he came about 1.5 feet from my face and we stared at each other for about a minute before he flew off. I happened to be standing so still that I am not sure he even noticed me, and I also did not want to move because I wanted this moment to last as long as possible. Nothing like this has happened to me before, so it was a marvelous experience to connect like that with a hummingbird and to be able to see all the little details up close and personal.

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As for the rest of the week, I was at Elkhorn Slough working with TeamOCEAN to help educate tourists about the animals and plants (without falling in the water this time!). For the 4th of July weekend on Saturday, with three people working in the water, we talked to a total of about 140 people – but there were many more on the water we did not get a chance to talk to. Although most people tend to be interested in the sea otters, sometimes we have such great conversations that I can bring up how Elkhorn Slough is an area where many migratory birds stop to rest.

I also had a chance to go check the Black Oystercatchers up north with the first EFTA Elkhorn Slough intern from 4-5 years ago, Hugo Ceja. Not only did we see that most of the pairs had chicks, but we also encountered a few more pairs that were not previously known about. We saw so many chicks, and were able to collect a few samples for Mike Powers and the DNA testing effort.  Sadly, in one of the samples a chick had tried to crack itself out but was unable to do so. We found our day to be very successful and finished it off by me showing him the pairs that I have found along Wilder Ranch.

After a long and exciting week, it was nice to have some time to relax in the sun like this stud.

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Ariana Pacheco
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