Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Laysan Love Dance

Love is in the air! These two were dancing on the beach at sunset today and I had a great time watching them.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Big Shorty

This year I received an early Christmas present. Our resident Short-tailed albatross adult made an appearance over on the neighboring island and I was able to get some good pictures of him. Shorties are one of the rarest species of albatross in the world and they breed on only two islands, near Japan, so we are really lucky to have him here. Last year in seemed as if he had found a girlfriend but we haven't seen them together yet this year (although she was here last week when he was gone).

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Saw Blades and Drill Press

I wandered around some of the old buildings here at Midway this afternoon and I ended up in an old machine shop. The place is loaded with old equipment, including lathes and big drill presses. I decided to play around with my external flash unit and got a few cool images. I plan to go back there on my next free day and shoot some more.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Chomp! This is what happens when you take your eye off of a black-footed albatross while you're banding it. The bird got a hold of my thumb and then twisted it's head from side to side to get the maximum, flesh-tearing effect. A little while later I got a bunch of sand up underneath the flapper. It took a while to clean the whole thing out. Hey Lauren, please don't show this to Daniel!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I Feel Like Jacques Cousteau

Today I took a few of the volunteers out for a snorkeling trip to the outer reef here at Midway and we had a great dive. There were three young turtles hanging out just inside the reef, probably taking refuge from the big ocean swell that was crashing on the outside of the reef. We also saw a bunch of great, colorful reef fish and we had a big Ulua checking us out (see below). This is the third year that I've been snorkeling at this site and it seems to me that the amount of coral has increased a great deal over that time. It is very encouraging to see, particularly since we are pretty far north and coral grows much slower here than in tropical latitudes.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Solid Gold Moment

Here is some video of two black-footed albatrosses dancing up a storm. They are soo hot I think I might need to smoke a cigarette! Turn up the audio for full effect!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My trip to Midway - A tale of two bikes

My journey getting to Midway this year began with a bike and has now ended with a bike. The first was the super sexy, Giant carbon fiber machine in the picture below. It is the bike that Mark Cavendish of Team Columbia won four stages of the Tour de France on this year. It just happens to be hanging in the Columbia store at the Portland airport and I saw it right before I got on my plane to Oahu. The second is my sweet green Schwin Cruiser that will be my ride for my time here on Midway. I picked it up this morning and I love it! Check out the whitewall tires and custom paint. I'm trying to think of ways I can smuggle it back to Portland!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Back on Midway

After a fantastic fall in Portland, I'm back on Midway again for the winter field season. It has been a bit of a whirlwind over the last few weeks, preparing for the field while trying to get in as much time as I can with friends. Now that I'm here, things should slow down a bit, although getting here was a bit hectic unto itself. Basically, I've had four plane flight over each of the last four days. I flew from Portland to Oahu on Tuesday, Oahu to Tern Island on Wednesday, return to Oahu on Thursday, and Oahu to Midway last night. The flight to Midway was the longest and hardest because we flew right into a weather front that tossed the plane around for about an hour. I was psyched to get down on the ground! It was all worth it though, and I even got a nice shot of the sunrise Wednesday morning from about 12,000 feet (above).