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Posts Tagged ‘Foul weather’

Hi everyone!

This is Mary reporting from Metinic Island. I am happy to announce that we had our first eggs on Sunday! We have been monitoring closely to see whether it is Common or Arctic terns sitting on each of the eggs. It is nearly impossible to tell the different eggs apart by appearance alone, so we have to watch closely to see who sits on the scrape. It is very exciting to think that soon there will be little chicks replacing the eggs!

The weather here on Metinic can get a little nasty sometimes. We got rain all afternoon and through the evening yesterday. The wind can really pick up here too, one day last week the average wind speed was 31 mph! Due to the sensitivity of the terns, it is important that we pay close attention to the weather. Disturbing the colony when the weather is bad, especially when there are chicks, can cause the terns to waste unnecessary energy. On days like this, we limit the number of times we enter the colony and in severe cases we do not enter at all.

Check back in with us soon! Hopefully there will be more eggs and some nice weather here on Metinic!

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While the weather continues to present us here on Eastern Brothers Island with, what could be referred to as, unpleasant conditions, I am coming to believe that it is for a couple of reasons.  One of those reasons is: bad weather is good for the social community.  If there wasn’t sloppy weather, I dare say that some Mainer’s wouldn’t have much else to talk about.     Fog, rain, and stiff north winds, while easy to complain about, are what makes us tougher.  Here is a photograph of what it’s like on the island in foul weather.

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Eastern Brothers Island in foul weather

Now this is the more important reason why I believe we have gray days: foul weather makes you appreciate the good days more.  After spending a day inside a 12 by 16 foot cabin staring out into a gray abyss and then going outside periodically only to completely drench my attire, I found that once the sun did shine the island was even MORE glorious than before.  Here is my proof:

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Eastern Brothers Island in all its glory

On our good days over the past week or so we have spent hours scanning the seas for alcids and have also become familiar with some of the local lobster boats.  Eastern Brothers Island is an island that Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge is hopeful in establishing a razorbill, puffin, and tern colony on.  We have seen quite a few razorbills in the adjacent waters, including 40+ foraging, but more typically see one or two closer to the cliffs.  While not scanning for alcids, we are also working on learning to identify our islands plant community.  Essentially we live on a bog.  Western Brothers is covered, literally covered, with cranberries.  We also have cloudberry, white cotton grass, and Artic Blue Flag irises; species associated with northern climates.  

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A hand full of mouth-puckering goodness straight from our bog

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Looking an iris in the eye

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Black Guillemot eggs in crack on Western Brothers Island

On a parting note for this week, we just got back from a black guillemot burrow search and were very excited to find eggs in cracks and crevices and tiny dark holes all over the cliffs.  Above is a typical burrow crack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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