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[Ashmore Trip 1] Day 11: Filling the gaps

May 29, 2013

[This is the eleventh 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.]


Another early start today – up at 02:30 to be on-reef by 03:15. I banded ~30 Black Noddies, Lesser Noddies and Bridled Terns before sunrise. After sunrise, they became next-to-impossible to catch, so I joined the tracking team for the rest of the day. We leave Ashmore tomorrow (around midday), so we completely packed the on-island base and brought everything back to Diversity.

There was plenty of afternoon down-time, so after a snorkel around the coral, I gave myself the challenge of automating an animation of the bird-logger data. It was a reasonably simple modification of the Rena Oil Spill bird-collection animation, and I had the bare-bones running within two hours. Now I just need to add bathymetry data to the background and tweak the display settings. Easy (one hopes)!

Today was also my girlfriend’s birthday. The trip leader very kindly allowed me 20 minutes of satellite-phone time, which I scrupulously used all of. I’ve had a bad habit of missing this lady’s birthdays – last year I was out of phone reception walking the Milford Track (though in fairness, that had been booked before I even met her).

We have another 02:30 start planned for tomorrow – it is a last chance for me to get enough Bridled Terns and Lesser Noddies for statistical significance. We shall blitz them quite hard.

New species handled: Bridled Terns.


From → Scientist

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