Wednesday, June 6, 2007

More bird festival photos

Here are a few more photos from the Montana Audubon Bird Festival in Ennis, MT from this past weekend. I really enjoyed being in Ennis and seeing places I haven't been for a while. I lived in Ennis for a few months many years ago. I was trapping and tracking eagles in the valley to assess their use of a proposed wind power project in the area and I have a lot of memories of my time there. I was also able to take my Mom to a couple of areas looking for some birds she wanted to see, primarily a Dipper. She also wanted to find a Red-naped Sapsucker, and we were able to find two males and one female at a nest site right in town just before we started home.

This coming weekend I am really looking forward to the Glasgow Bird Festival. This is the third year of our local festival and we continue to get better at it. In addition, my good friend Dr. Nina Karnovski and her son Max will be visiting. Nina is the advisor of my summer volunteer, Sabrina McNew, and we will be working together on a project for Sabrina, centered on a MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Success) station I am initiating here this year. It has been a long time since I have been able to visit with Nina and I am really looking forward to her visit. She is responsible for getting me on the best field research trip I have ever been on - a voyage to northern Baffin Bay with stops in Greenland and Nunavut, Canada aboard the Canadian Coast Guard ship the Pierre Radisson as part of the NOW research program. We also worked at the same location in Antarctica. We first met at a party in the hold of the Antarctic research vessel Polar Duke in the middle of the Drake Passage. Nina did a great rendition of "Me and Bobby McGee" at that party and after visiting a bit we decided that we would go birding together when we got back to Punta Arenas, Chile. We had a good time birding and better yet we enjoyed a nice lunch with Chilean red wine and chocolate where we both discovered that birding is good, but birding with good food and wine is even better. We also went on a small expedition on Greenland near the community of Qaanaaq. We were looking for a Rock Ptarmigan (a bird I have yet to see). We dipped on the ptarmigan but did have a good lunch of Danish beer, bread and caviar. We have been good friends since although we have rarely had time to bird together since then. We will certainly fix that this weekend. Our sons appear to have the same interests as well (Cars and Thomas the Train) so they should keep each other entertained too.

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