Borrego Springs, CA

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Salinity tests and bird surverys

I was ready this morning by 8:45 to head out to do the salinity tests in the marsh and to conduct two short bird surveys. The wind was coming out of the north and the temps were trying to reach forty as we headed out. I'm sure glad I wore my winter coat, had knee high rubber boots on, and brought my gloves!

The first salinity test spot was about 15 miles away and located just before one of the bayous enters the bay. The ranchers, that lease this area for cattle grazing, had installed an electric fence in the last week, so we had to walk through a gate and troop through 100 yards of mud to reach the test site. I had also brought one of my diamond willow walking sticks along, and it sure did help my stability through that quagmire. I learned the ropes of doing the tests. I'll take some pictures and give further explanation next week when I do it on my own.

Because of the wetness in the marsh, there are only two sites that we can get to with the vehicle right now. If it dries out some, I'll have more sites to test.

When the tests were finished, we drove two predetermined routes to do the bird survey. One was around Shoveler Pond, and the other was on a gravel road to the west of the pond. The numbers of birds were not spectacular, but we counted everything we saw. Highlights of the morning were a rail and a merlin. I will certainly use my scope when I do these surveys in the coming weeks. The ducks were just too far away for me to be confident of identification with just my binoculars. I can tell that I'm really going to enjoy these count days. :)

By the time we got back to the rigs, it was 1:00, and my stomach was growling for food. After lunch, I worked a couple of hours on the education programs. That's enough for today. I think I'll watch one of my netflix movies tonight.

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy

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