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Borrego Springs, CA

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Two days of training done

I think my brain is on overload!  I’ve had two days of training on sea birds, whales, and sea mammals.  I’ve come into this assignment a true beginner as far as knowledge of these three areas of nature are concerned.  What a challenge.

Yesterday was all about sea birds.  These are birds that spend most of their lives out at sea on the oceans, and only come to land to nest and raise the next generation.  Puffins, guillemots, cormorants, murres, and such.  Being from the Midwest of the country, my learning curve about these birds is great.  I’m thinking I’ll learn more things working for Oregon Islands NWR than I’ve learned at any other refuge that I’ve volunteered at.  What an opportunity!

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I just had to go visit the coast around Bandon after the day’s training to help me absorb all the information I had been given.  The mesmerizing sound of the breaking waves was very calming.

Coos BayToday’s training was up on Coos Bay.  It was a day to learn about all the federal and state agencies that manage these wild areas as well as learn about the lives of whales and sea mammals.

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When I lived in upstate New York and Minnesota, I always had hanging baskets of fuchsias.  It was quite a surprise to me to see fuchsias growing naturally as a huge bush in the area where the training was taking place.  I don’t know if fuchsias are native or not, and to be honest, I’m too tired to investigate that.

I also have to admit that sitting through all these hours of training was a bit of a challenge.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had to sit through hours of lectures, and my back was just killing me.  Although the whale and sea mammal topics were interesting, there were times when I had to jiggle my feet to keep awake.  Too much sitting, I guess. 

Simpson's Reef

I was thrilled to finally get to the point in the training where we went on an excursion to Simpson Reef to see the seals and sea lions.  Simpson Reef is those rocks that go across the horizon near the top of the pic.  The area is a popular ‘hauling out’ area for sea lions, and a birthing place for harbor seals.  Do you see that area of sand that looks like a landing strip in the top middle?

California Sea Lions

There were quite a few California sea lions basking in the sun there.  I was told that last week the entire sand area was covered with them.  There were also elephant seals and harbor seals and pups scattered around, but I couldn’t get any pics of them.

When we were finished with the training, we all headed back to the rigs and had a pot luck dinner.  Chef Jay made very tasty stuffed pork loin with some of my wild rice from Minnesota.  As I head out in the morning, I’ll be missing my times with Linda and Jay, but perhaps our paths will cross again somewhere down the road.

I’ve got about 85 miles to drive tomorrow to my assignment at Harris Beach State Park down in Brookings, OR.  I’m excited about it, but have some studying to do before I’ll be comfortable manning my station.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

30 comments:

  1. The sitting through the lectures sounds rough. But, oh my goodness! So worthwhile! I am so looking forward to your photo ops, this summer brings!

    Now I have to google fuchsia.

    Not native. I wonder if that makes them invasive.
    "...Fuchsias from sections Quelusia (F. magellanica, F. regia), Encliandra, Skinnera (F. excorticata, F. perscandens) and Procumbentes (F. procumbens) have especially proven to be hardy in widespread areas of Britain and Ireland, as well as in many other countries such as New Zealand (aside from its native species) or the Pacific Northwest region of the United States..."

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  2. What a start to an exciting summer! And what a great learning opportunity... I'll sure be looking forward to all your posts about this experience.

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  3. Beautiful pictures of the coast Judy. I sure envy you the opportunity to learn about and see all these wonderful birds and mammals. If we'd been able to do the summer we'd planned, we'd be in Oregon too. Now you'll have to show us what we are missing.

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  4. Bet you'll be seeing the gray whale mamas and babies that I saw in Baja this winter swimming by on their way to Alaska! Sounds like you're going to have a fascinating,enjoyable, and mosquito-free summer ahead!

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  5. It should be an exciting summer for you and I'm looking forward to all of your pictures. There is just no place quite like the ocean (I say as we are sadly getting ready to leave the ocean)

    Safe travels. You are about as far from us as possible in the US

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  6. I was curious how far away we were from you, so I Googled it. 3522 miles.

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  7. Thanks for taking us along on your coastal trip!

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  8. I think it's a wonderful opportunity for you to expand your incredible store of knowledge to include the sea mammals and birds. I'll be really anxious to know what birds are prevalent there, compared to the ones I saw when I lived in Ireland - skuas and gannets being my favorites.

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  9. Fuchsias are probably not native, but I bet they like the moist environment! I wonder if they will bloom all summer. Travel safely to your new spot! I hope Emma gets some grass! Sounds like you are awakening the old brain with new info!! :)

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  10. What an awesome opportunity Judy! We will be learning right along with you as you share your knowledge, pictures and stories!

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  11. I'm sure it will be a summer full of new information and sights. Learning keeps us young!

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  12. You are going to have a wonderful summer, what a great location you will be in.

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  13. What a great chance to fill in the gaps on your considerable birding resume. How exciting!

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  14. Just the thought of having to sit for more than two hours and listen to somebody talk puts me to sleep. It'll be so much more interesting when you are out there seeing all those birds and animals they talked about. Should be some really good photo ops for you..

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  15. I'm shocked that there are birds you didn't know! :cO Of course, you do now... :cD

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  16. What a plum assignment. What a fantastic location. You have so much to look forward to.

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  17. I love seabirds ... have been lucky enough to see quite a few different species in our travels ... their lives at sea are just fascinating.

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  18. Judy, I have a feeling you will LOVE the sea birds..I fell in love with them on the Gulf Coast..I get giddy when I see a Blue Heron..or any water bird...I have a feeling you can handle this assignment just fine...I look forward to your upcoming photos!!

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  19. I love Puffins. They are so dang cute. Harris Beach is lovely.

    I am so excited for you. The Pacific Coast is such an awesome place to visit!

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  20. The Oregon coast is such a special place, as you'll discover (are discovering)! Summertimes, it gets really busy, packed with tourists, which is why we enjoy being on the coast in either spring or fall, but just being at the Pacific means so much to a lot of people, including us. The bird life is awesome, as you're finding out, in addition to all the other marine life. Poking around in tide pools is about as much fun as anything, as far as I'm concerned ... you never know what you'll see!

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  21. Thank you for your service! I am really looking forward to reading what you see and learn this summer.

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  22. Your at a beautiful place good luck and enjoy all you can. Will be looking forward to all the wonderful pictures you post

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  23. Fuchsias grow well here in the Pacific NW. I'm up in NW Washington. My mother always had a huge hanging basket of fuchsias every summer when I was growing up. They are so lovely. I'm looking forward to hearing about your adventures this summer where you are. My late father's wife now lives in a beach house near Bandon & loves the area.

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  24. That sounds like a whole lot of learning. I'll bet it is invigorating to be in a new area and learn about a new environment!

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  25. Seabirds, whales and the ocean, oh my! Can't wait to see your upcoming wonderful pictures...
    Jan

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  26. Can't wait for you to teach us some of what you learned, especially through your photos. We were on a mission to see puffins along the coast last summer but never did. I imagine you will see a little of everything this summer!

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  27. You are going to have a great time this summer.

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  28. Hey Judy, it was a treat to finally meet you after reading about your travels for 5 years!
    Don't worry, you weren't the only one trying to stay awake through the training. lol
    What with getting up so early to be up at Charleston by 8:30, I found my head bobbing! And I like Dr. Jan's talks! :) I am sure you have all of the birds memorized by now. After you are settled, we have to come down and visit! Have fun at Harris Beach! Kathy

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  29. Nice post.Thanks for sharing this in your blog

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