For the love of Sally (Day 3)

On the way up to the lighthouse, we saw a rock wren and a Peregrine Falcon. Beautiful birds the falcon. Got an amazing close up view of one. The nesting birds on the island are easy pickings for the falcon who swiftly dive down and attack the unsuspecting feather-steaks.

Heres Russ trying to check the light at the lighthouse. It’s wonky now, perhaps there will be ship wrecks abound! If not for the backup light that is..

The latter half of day three was spent on a salamander study. These are an endemic subspecies only found here! Squimy little creatures. We go around a hundred wooden planks and lifting them up to see if any sallies are underneathe them. We only managed to cover half of the plots and found 39 of them. When we see a salamander, it’s a quick grab and dump into a moist ziploc baggie. Sally is checked to see if she has any of her toes clipped as an ID function, whether she has a mental pouch (males) or eggs in her belly. Then her snout-posterier vent (pretty word for anus) and postvent-tail is measured. After which we remove them from the baggies, ad the fun part happens where we try and hold them steady in our palms for a photo-id of their left and right sides. A lot of wriggling into sleeves attempts happens here! Its hard to get them to behave. They are pretty much slimy geckos, and I’d much rather handle them because they’re not as fragile as geckos and their tail doesn’t wiggle off! A lot of dismayed cries as a sally is in a perfect position, but the photographer is *just* a second too slow.

By like the 20th salamander, the bags are grimy, our hands are cold and wet and hardly paying any attention to our motor neurons. The winds have picked up and the scale absolutely REFUSES to tare. Still these guys are cuties and worth spending a day on your knees for.

Half more of those boxes to go through tomorrow. Ooooh sally. 



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