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Posts Tagged ‘seagulls’

Quite literally. We woke up to hear a funny chirping outside. It sounded like it was coming down the stove pipe, but happily there was no bird in the woodstove. Tim went outside to investigate and sure enough, the eagle was perched on the cabin’s stove pipe. No photo to prove it though.

Weather was dramatic yesterday; winds to 40 knots.. The cabin shuddered and creaked but didn’t blow down. One door blew off one of the outbuildings, the roof was lifting off another but overall we fared fine. The boat was still securely tied to the dock the last we looked.

The wind was whistling but at least the sun was out. We went to check on the daffodils we were assigned to collect but they haven’t yellowed yet.

I often see things in nature. The rocks of Deal Island have fabulous character, a mouse lady and dragon among others. Well here, we’re surrounded by 20,000 birds. So what do the clouds look like?

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A feather! Imagine that.

We stopped by to talk to the seagull researchers. They confirmed what Tim thought. All the seagulls leave the island after dark. They won’t once they have eggs but at the moment, all the colonies leave as a group and raft on the water about 3 km away. How do they know this?  They stay up all night and watch and listen. They are also looking into the ovulatory cycle of seagulls. It seems when times are tough, they all lay eggs together. Less chance of 1/1000 eggs being snatched up then 1/10. Interesting stuff. And a small increase in the water temperature, due to climate change, is enough to make this happen.

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The wind didn’t stop shipping traffic or affect the wildlife too much.

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I got a chance to try out this hand powered food processor in the kitchen. My first attempt to mash potatoes with it was a disaster. I guess it is not a ricer. But it grates and slices hard veggies like a champ.

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So we enjoyed a carrot craisin salad and I didn’t even get any skinned knuckles from grating the carrots.

Another great day in paradise.

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Or as Tim likes to say, “There’s no such thing as paradise”. We did use the windy day to check the septic tanks and I am happy to report all is well.

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We live in a cabin in a very “fertile” area of the island. Kind of like Times Square before Mayor Giuliani.  Either one pair of seagulls is very amorous, or every day several new pairs come to mate before our eyes.  And they’re not quiet about it, they are seagulls after all.  There’s a lot of squawking.   First there’s the hello baby…

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Then the male stands on the back of the female

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and they co-mingle their tales to do the nasty. No appendages involved.  Look it up. This happens right outside our window, several times a day.

Now they’re looking towards the future and getting ready to nest.

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Tim cleaned all the windows when we got here but they are making amazing messes with their fly-bys and he has to do it again.

I spent a couple of hours docking today. With a light wind, no spectators, and no other boats to worry about, I do pretty OK.

Today was a high carb day.  I baked a loaf of bread and a coffee cake. Yum. We’re staying here for a while since there have been small craft warnings so I am making do with what we have. We still have wine and chocolate, so we should be fine.

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Rain and clouds may be gone for a while.  These were passing clouds this afternoon. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

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We shipped our fold up bikes to Washington before we left home with the idea they would be a great way to shop without needing a car. We also signed up at the local YMCA, which has a lovely pool, and got ourselves a post office box to pick up netflix. Yesterday we put it to the test. We took the boat ashore, no problem. Unfolded and rode our bikes 4.6 miles uphill to the YMCA, some complaining on my part. We swam for 40 minutes (Tim) and 30 minutes (me with a little time left over for the hot tub). I stopped into the local yarn store, That’s actually its name, Local Yarn Shop, and met two lovely women and a ten week old sheep dog named Bob. A little mexican food for lunch, a bike ride to the grocery store and then complete the 4.6 mile ride back to the marina, laden with two backpacks of food, very heavy backpacks but at least 1/3 of the way was downhill. I know the math doesn’t work out but that’s how it felt to me. We were plumb tuckered last night.

Today a work group arrived on the landing craft, to drop off a utility vehicle of some sort and to put spikes on the roof to prevent the birds from landing and sliding off the metal roof all day. Lucky for our guests because their beds are just under that metal roof. One lone perch was left on the top of the chimney and it was already in use by day’s end.

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The grass has been mowed by both me and Tim. I got to survey the island a little more while I figured out how to lift the lawnmower on to the bed of the truck.

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Yesterday we had lots of wildlife spotting during our island circumnavigation on the trip back. Seals had hauled out on one of the spits.

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Hard to see what is seal and what is driftwood but the water’s edge is littered with seals. We saw our first arctic puffin in the water and it was CUTE. Here’s a link to what they look like. I highly recommend the Irish public TV show, Puffin Rock, where these little guys star. We also saw a couple of loons. And these shenanigans when we returned to the cabin.

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A little seagull porn.

In the cabin we learned that what we thought was petrified wood or sedimentary rock is a WOOLY MAMMOTH TOOTH!! Imagine that.

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Our next biathalon will probably take place next week.  Stay tuned for the agony of defeat.

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And the seagulls woke up. Here’s what we woke up to on our first morning. What can you expect living in a wildlife refuge. While reading the paper, we saw an otter slide under the back porch. Sadly a starling was drying out in the woodstove, before we lit it.

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The cabin is quite cozy and in great condition.  A lot of work has gone into it.  We have a propane refrigerator and freezer, propane stove, instant hot water, a washer and dryer, a comfy bed or two, and a wood stove. I spent yesterday cleaning the interior while Tim cleaned the outside. We inspected all the fire extinguishers and smoke detectors on the island and got to know the surroundings a little better.

Our water tower is straight out of “Petticoat Junction” except there aren’t any bathing belles in it – I hope.  We can’t drink it anyway.

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We also made a first pass at cleaning bird poop off the dock. We later learned we don’t have to actually scrub it. Yippee! Nasty work. But it can get slippery.

We inspected the fleet and its fire extinguishers.  The dodge truck has grass growing out of the floor mats. Actually seeded there, not growing up from the ground. Must not see a lot of use.

 

A new(er) truck is supposed to arrive by landing craft sometime this season. More bird posts are supposed to arrive as well to deter them from landing on the roof and clattering about like Santa’s reindeer.

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The views are outstanding. Here’s the harbor side of our little cove.

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And a Google satellite view of the island. Our cabin is in the lower third.

Tim was a lucky guy yesterday.  I made pancakes, two loaves of bread and an apple pie. We’ll do a patrol today and should get some more shots but less baking.

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