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[Ashmore Trip 1] Day 6: The second full day on Ashmore

May 11, 2013

[This is the sixth 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.]

12/04/2013

Another 06:30 start today, at Middle Island early before the falling tide made it inaccessible. On the walk into the sampling site, A demonstrated that it is feasible to sample Sooty Terns by simply running at them and picking them up. I spent most of the rest of the day picking up Sooty Terns and blood-sampling them. Mid-afternoon, R1 appeared and we tried out some other catching methods – which resulted in a few Common Noddies in addition to the Sooty Terns.

Because the tide was falling at 16:30, the ship’s tenders could not come close to the island for rendezvous. We walked for about an hour and twenty over sandflats and coral, with mid-calf to thigh-deep water, to get out. It was a crushing walk.

New species today: Common Noddy, Sooty Tern, Red-footed Booby.

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