Since week one of my internship I have been around shorebirds either by doing surveys or by teaching elementary students about them. Now I have to say good-bye to both of those things. It has been a lot of fun and a great way for me to learn more about these awesome birds. Ten weeks of shorebirds surveys are now completely done. I began when there were absolutely no shorebirds during my surveys and slowly and progressively I saw more as they migrated in my area. The peak of about three thousand shorebirds occurred during week 6 and after that there are usually just several hundred. Now, on the last day of surveying I am still seeing flocks of Whimbrels- I counted 115. The survey hike has always been a beautiful one, I not only see shorebirds but also a variety of different seabirds, waders, and raptors. Some of my favorites are the Caspian Terns, the Osprey, and the several tree swallows that were nesting right on the trail. It was distracting trying to focus on shorebirds alone when there was always so many other amazing birds around me. Now I will go not for work but for recreation to these sites the exquisite wildlife watching.
Last week was also the last week of the Sister Shorebird School Program. Five lessons all completed at five different schools! It is sad to say goodbye to the children that Julia (Shorebird Program Coordinator) and I have been working with for three months. I also feel incredibly happy and proud of how much they have learned in this time short amount of time. The Philomath Elementary School teachers asked their students to do one last assignment- to imagine a dream habitat for shorebirds. This was a fun and creative way to end the program. I included samples of what the kids created in this post. Looking at those posters filled me and Julia with laughs and joy showing us how the students have put everything they know in one sheet. Hope you like them!
It has been a pleasure for me to work in this program that is so organized, educational, and fun. It has been going on for ten years and I hope it continues to happen for many more years. The schools involved are in close proximity to the Oregon Coast so it is especially important to instill these kids with a sense of stewardship of the wildlife and habitat of this magnificent area.