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[Ashmore Trip 1] Day 5: First full day on Ashmore

May 8, 2013

[This is the fifth in a series of ‘Ashmore Trip 1’ posts, essentially diary entries. Internet was unavailable at the Ashmore Reef, so they are being presented one-day-per-day now that I am back in Melbourne.]


Woke up early for an 06:30 departure to Middle Island, an approximately 6km ride via tender. Tide was middle and rising, so we were able to take the tender fairly close in to the island. Set up a small sun-shelter with banding, tagging, and sampling equipment, and set about catching birds.

First bird captured was a female Lesser Frigatebird, caught by noose-pole. The day’s tasks were limited to catching and tagging Lesser Frigates, Brown and Red-footed Boobies. Puns regarding boobies were, as may be expected, ample.

The capture methods for Frigatebirds are different to those for Boobies. Frigates are cannier, so it is necessary to approach (with a net) slowly, hiding in the long grass, and strike when they cannot see you. Boobies, contrary to popular belief, are very easy to simply grab.

Birds added to Life List of Things Bitten By: Lesser Frigatebird, Red-footed Booby, Brown Booby.

Sampling ran until just before the tide became too low to make extraction feasible – around 16:30. We swam from the mooring to West Island and back in the last of the sun. Sadly, on West I cut a toe on coral. It’ll need careful attention to avoid infection.


From → Scientist

One Comment
  1. Stella permalink

    hehe, boobies

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