Ashmore 2: the pseudo-squall
We took the ‘two tides’ approach to sampling Middle Island last night – out on the high tide, back on the rising tide the following morning (around 09:00). The main tasks for the night were retrieving loggers (from Frigatebirds and Red-footed and Masked Boobies), coaxing some remote-downloading loggers to go, and, if enough time, catching more Lesser Noddies.
Sadly, the night was a bit of a bust, excepting the hunt for Masked Booby loggers. The adult Lesser Frigatebirds to which the GPS units are attached only visit the colony fleetingly, for long enough to feed their chicks, and so are very difficult to catch. The remote-downloading loggers still could not be coaxed into downloading.
Around 03:00, a large thunderhead coming from the South-East caused us to cover all equipment in a tarpaulin, deconstruct the sampling station, and generally cower. However, it dissipated just on reaching us, so only a small amount of rain actually fell on the base – although it did become very windy. Following the pseudo-squall, we slept on the beach until sunrise.