Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mmm...nests...

Sunset over the fen.

Oops, it appears my bogging rate already has a negative acceleration....

This past week the godwit activity really picked up. Last weekend's storm had dampened (or frozen?) the activity, but things started popping once the sun finally came out. We've found seven nests thus far, and birds are now finishing laying their clutches and beginning incubation.

A fairly typical godwit nest. The clutches are almost always four eggs, and the nests are located on low grassy hummocks in otherwise fairly wet areas.

Because finding nests is crucial to our work, our next few weeks are basically dedicated to nest searching. This involves not only observing birds' behavior, but also pacing large areas hoping to flush birds from their nests. Godwits don't flush until you're about 2 metres (ooo so Canadian, eh?) away, though, so such searching requires you to walk in a ridiculous zig-zag fashion. Yes, that's exhausting, but finally finding a nest results in a complete and utter euphoria.

Male godwit sitting on a nest. We found this nest simply by watching the bird walk onto it - !

Arctic Fox that ran along the road in front of us this morning!

1 comment:

Mary said...

What great pictures! Thank you for increasing your "bogging" rate! I'm amazed that the Godwits don't flush until you are so close!