AOU-COS Conference and return to Dauphin Island

Last week I went to Colorado for the annual joint meeting of the American Ornithologists’ Union and the Cooper Ornithological Society. I met with old friends and colleagues and met some new ones too. The talk I gave on some of my research went very well and I received good feedback. AND the setting was unbelievable! Estes Park is nestled right next to Rocky Mountain National Park and I was able to slip away for some birding adventures. Since I have not been out west very much, the trip yielded 7-9 life birds (depending on whether you count subspecies and/or races).

I arrived back to Dauphin Island EARLY Monday morning and upon arriving at the site found that several pieces of my rebar (that I use to keep my net poles steady instead of bunches of guy lines) had been severely damaged beyond repair. Many of my stakes and guy ropes were also pulled out of the ground and tossed about. Good thing I went to the extra trouble of collecting all my poles and locking them up during my week away!

So I spent yesterday morning making several trips to carry in my poles and other equipment that I had stored while away and re-configuring my nets. In all, I lost the rebar for 5 of my 10 nets. With some rearranging, new guy lines, and combining of nets/poles, I was able to get 8 nets opened by 9am. Oh and there was a bit of sweat put into all that too!

So things here on Dauphin Island are back up and running. I hope I didn’t miss too much of the migration while away but from the looks of who is around today, I’m guessing there is still a lot of birds left needing to head south.


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