Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Talan Island and end of the surveys

August 6, 2015.
Yesterday evening we were checking the 3 pairs of Steller's Sea Eagles that nest on Talan island. The Spafarieva island was lurking nearby, but we had to overcome the temptation to check its nests. We have not visited this island for the last 3 years due to the weather, but his year the time and fuel constrains were overwhelming.
The three pairs on Talan island were present, but one failed in early June, according to the reports of Dr. Lena Golubova, the queen of the island.  Of the other two, one had 1 chick, but the main (and the oldest) nest was not found! It is well hidden across the crevasses of the South-eastern face of the island, so neither us, no the crew of the Talan island were able to find it.

On the island we were greeted by  Sasha Andreev and Kira Regel, and their granddaughter Mila. Mila was spotted playing with the famous and tame Talan foxes.

The queen of the island was counting Ancient Murrelet young: since they come out of their burrows by night, she was occupied during dark hours.
I have made a great panorama of the island using the drone.

In the morning we set off to the Balagannoe village, with the plan to check nests we had skipped earlier in the summer.

This was done just before the high tide. With the high tide time we came into the Tauy river and checked the Tauy river estuary nests: both had 2 chicks, the closest nest to the village was relocated some 200 m upstream.

This gives us a total of 14 territories with chicks, including 4 territories/nests with 2 chicks.
In the afternoon we packed up the boat and set off to Magadan. 
The surveys trips are completed.

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Motykley Bay.

August 5, 2015.
We set off at about 10 am from the Balagannoe village at the beginning of a tidal cycle. Our aim was to cover the infamous “Rotten corner” within the same tidal cycle. This would save us a night with the bears in the Motykley bay.  We skipped the nests close to the Balagannoe as the tide would not wail.

The great nest at the Onatsevicha bay  had one chick. Next nest (relatively new) on a forested slope with 1 chick, and a nest known as B10 with 2 chicks.

The “Rotten Corner” was surveyed without a problem. For some reason there was no grass on the shallow, tidal sea floor. In previous years it gave us hard time.  
It was the usual dicey output from the Rotten corner nests, with one interesting observation: 2 nests very close to one another, both with chicks at the northern part of the ‘corner’. The coastline of the bay was lacking Far-Eastern Curlew, but there were a great number of cryptic waders. At the onset of the low tide we were at the Chaika cape in the middle of the bay. The pair that we usually find here was absent, but there were plenty of seals.

The remaining part of the bay was empty, including the vacant Tokareva Bay seastack.

The cliff facing the Talan island was surprisingly empty. Thus, there were only 4 occupied nests, 3 with chicks. The lowest number we have ever tallied for this part of the coast,.
We came as far as the Shestakova cape, where the currents are mixing with the tidal stream. The last nest on the sea stack had a chick. What a great location.

At the end of the day we were approaching the Talan Island (with Spafarieva Island on the right).

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Magadan intermission.

August 3-4, 2015.
We stayed in Magadan for 2 days in order to prepare for our next trip to the Motykley bay. Fuel, food, transportation, and emergency procedures: all has to be arranged.
The weather was appalling: rain, fog and, naturally, storm at the sea….

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Odyan Bay survey: a looong day….Continued….

August 2, 2015.
We did arrive to the Nagaevo Bay of Magadan at about 10 pm, few drops of rain greeted us while we were loading our boat and gear into a truck.

This time we managed to get the longest daily survey leg in the history of our research. We covered the Odyan Bay, Staritskogo peninsula and the Nedorazumenia bay.

Total count: 5 chicks from Odyan, 1 chick at the TEZ nest, 4 chicks at the Staritskogo peninsula, and no chicks at the Nedorazumenya.

What a day…..

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Odyan Bay survey: a looong day….Continued...

August 2, 2015.

The circumnavigation of the Staritskogo Peninsula was rather trivial, despite choppy waves. The wall of rain was still lurking both ahead and behind us, but nevertheless we pressed on.

Our beloved nest at the Orlinaya Bay (Eagle Bay) was occupied after a year of emptiness and had one chick.

The nest at the Svetlaya bay had 2 chicks.The pair at the Nedorazumenya island was occupied, but without chick. This pair has built a new nest.

In total the Staritskogo stretch had 3 nests with 1, 1 and 2 chicks...better than usual.