This week, I continued helping with research at the Sea Bird Oceanography Lab. We monitored for murres once at night and then once in the early morning. Unfortunately, the murres have yet to start nesting in the usual sites, but it is possible they are nesting in different spots. One idea is that they may be on the other side of Colony rock, or on the cliff sides by the lighthouse deck. Either way, our spotting scopes do not reach those areas. Even so, I have been helping enter data from past years.
I also worked at Yaquina Head and we had a negative tide both days I was there! It was so beautiful and all of the tide pools were super exposed, showcasing all sorts of critters. Among some of these were nudibranchs, chitons and even an octopus! One of my favorite finds was a tiny blue sea star! I had never seen one that color before, and we couldn’t identify the species, but I’m pretty sure it was an ochre star. We also have an elephant seal on the beach for the second week in a row. We aren’t really sure how long it will stick around for, but visitors sure love looking at it through the scope!
Next week, I will be helping with murre and gull captures! We will be putting trackers on the mures and capturing the gulls to collect data on them. I’ve never done work like that before. I’m really excited, but also nervous since I’ve heard that lots of people get sea sick. Hopefully, I can handle the waves and enjoy the experience. Wish me luck!