On our day off, Seth counted over 2,700 birds, the biggest day since we've been here. We told him he should have called us to come help.
In the evening we attended a lecture here at the Schoodic Institute - “Making it Count: How Citizen Science Can Catalyze Civic Engagement”.
"Many big questions in ecology and public policy require datasets at scales that exceed the capacity of the scientific community to collect and analyze. For decades, birdwatchers, video gamers, and other non-technically trained citizen scientists have helped fill information gaps, often to inform management decisions. Also known as crowdsourced science and cooperative or participatory research, citizen science presents an opportunity for a new era of civic engagement in which people’s curiosity about and love for their surroundings drive informed decision making."
At the end of the lecture, I couldn't help myself during the question and answer session. After all, we are "citizen scientists" during our stint here, and there are a lot more like us out there that are willing and able to help out. So, I let all the scientists in the audience know that there is a magnificent community of full-time RVers out there that can provide data gathering and analysis. With the small investment of a campsite or two, they can get quality research assistants on a consistent basis.
The Schoodic Institute is the "organizational home" of the Citizens Science Association which was founded just a few years ago. Perhaps our time here can be parlayed into more opportunities for full-timers to provide service in exchange for a campsite in the future.
It was another beautiful day out on Schoodic Point.
After Seth's big count yesterday, we thought it might continue. However, the nice, mild weather apparently caused the migration to slow a bit. We still counted over 500 birds and went over 20,000 since we've been here.
Today we also met Allison. She is a young lady that is one of the best birdwatchers I've seen at any age. She is attending the nearby Unity College, and is doing a short film on our SeaWatch project for her major. She is from Michigan, and is a birding tour guide in Alaska during the summer. She works on St. Paul Island in the Pribilof Islands.
St. Paul Island is a rugged, remote, bird watching paradise. There are an estimated 3 million sea birds plus the world's largest fur seal rookeries. Travel to one of the farthest outposts in Alaska that offers guided tours on a schedule. St. Paul is located 300 miles off Alaska's western coast, 740 miles from Anchorage - and only 500 miles from Siberia.
That's remote. :)
It was a calm, lovely morning out on the Point.
Getting out there at 6:30 a.m. is almost too early as it's pretty dark. We may have to change our hours a little.
With great weather, it was a slow bird-counting day. We had just under 500 birds.
When not out on the Point, we were pre-occupied with Hurricane Matthew. Linda's Mom was staying put in The Villages in Central Florida, but her sister in Jacksonville was under mandatory evacuation. This past Spring, they moved into an old home on a lake near the St. John's River, and their property has over 100 mature trees in the yard.
The storm looked like it was going to hit a lot of the Atlantic coast hard, and our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the path.
Today was another gorgeous day and, again, it was a somewhat slow bird-counting day although we counted almost 600 migrants.
Between our sessions, we decided to drive up to the Donnell Pond Public Reserved Land. We didn't have time to do any paddling, but we thought it would be a nice drive to check out the ponds and some Fall colors.
This is a shot from the boat launch at Donnell Pond.
And here is a zoomed shot.
The section of Maine Hwy 182 that goes through the public land is known as the Blackwoods Scenic By-Way. We stopped at a pull-off and took a few more photos.
Later, we took a short road to Spring River Lake. We were really wishing we had time to paddle.
The water was like glass and there was no one on the lake.
A bit farther west, we stopped at a pull-off at Tunk Stream for some more photos.
We enjoyed our little drive and then stopped in Corea for lunch on the wharf again before making our way back home to get ready for our afternoon counting session.
The Donnell Pond area has some great paddling and hiking and there were very few vehicles at the various trailheads. We may have to get back up there before we leave.
This morning Allison came out to video our count. Unfortunately, we were completely fogged out for the early session.
In the hours before our afternoon count, we learned Linda's Mom was okay. They had lots of wind and rain, but no damage.
At Karen & Jay's house in Jacksonville, however, they had six large trees down with one on their roof. Fortunately, the tree on the roof was the smallest and didn't cause any damage. Their electricity is out because trees fell on the power lines and, because they are on a well with a pump, they have no water. But they avoided major issues. Whew.
Our afternoon session was one of our better ones and Allison got to do a little video. We had over 400 birds, and it was also our biggest day for visitors. We saw a seal and the porpoises came by frequently.
As we were packing up, we met a young fellow, Elliott Nelson, from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He developed the plan for the North Huron Birding Trail. We're definitely meeting a lot of interesting people from all over the country.
Tomorrow, we're pretty assured of rain, but most of this week has been great with sunshine and temps in the low 70s.
It's been another great week here on the Schoodic Peninsula. :)