My final day of shorebird surveys was May 16th. What an amazing experience it was to witness the migration of such magnificent creatures. Being out in the field every day gave me the opportunity to see how the world around me is ever changing and beautiful. The shorebirds came and went like the tides. The grass became taller as the days became longer.
Now that I am finished with my shorebird surveys, I am transitioning into the wildlife field season with the Forest Service. This week we had orientation to prepare us for the field. We went over safety procedures for boat and plane travel, radio communications, bear & moose safety, and how to use paddle-boats.
My favorite was the paddle-boat training. We went out to Eyak lake and got to use poke boats and canoes. For the canoe training we got to put on dry-suits since the water was a bit cold. We practiced flipping the canoe in the water and flipping it back and getting on it again. It was a little scary once we flipped, my dry suit had air in it so I felt my whole body float and had little control of my body. I then released the air, and I was a lot more comfortable moving and swimming toward the canoe. Once the two people on the ends jumped on I was able to jump in the middle. The canoe had water in it so we struggled finding our balance at first, but after several attempts we slowly made our way back to shore. It was a blast, and I look forward to kayaking in the Copper River Delta for our nest island monitoring and dusky geese work next month.