Preparing for this internship has been exciting and educational. I feel as though I’ve been learning a lot within a short period of time and it’s been extremely rewarding. Aside from learning about shorebirds I have also been trying to fully immerse myself with knowledge about the wildlife that surrounds my surveying sites. This includes becoming familiar with plants, insects, fungi, and animals that are common within my survey sites.
Fortunately, three of my four survey sites are within the Elkhorn Slough Reserve in Monterey County, CA. Elkhorn Slough Reserve is home to a variety of wildlife. In order to become more knowledgeable about the wildlife in the area I’ve had the opportunity to go on some of the trails with experienced guides. This has given me the opportunity to not only become familiar with my new surroundings but to have the knowledge of seasoned volunteers available. Furthermore, I am able to familiarize myself with the types of questions and information that visitors ask about. I’ve started to gather an array of information about Elkhorn Slough Reserve, ranging from identifying Poison Hemlock to explaining the fascinating dens of the dusky-footed woodrats.
Additionally, I have also been able to further refine my identification skills with the help of Hugo. He has continued to share his knowledge with us and it has been extremely helpful. His identification tips have been very helpful and his level of expertise makes me hopeful that I will (hopefully) soon also be a decent birder!