29 November 2016: Diary of a batman

29 November 2016
I wake up early and make some coffee with my newly purchased mini camp burner amd cookware set - it tastes great, probably because camp side food and beverges always do. I then proceed to take the dead pallid bat over to the main camp area where the mammalogists are getting ready to prepare their specimens captured during the night. I haven't prepared a bat specimen/skin in a couple of years but with a few tips from the mammal guys I remember quickly and get started. About 2 hours later the bat is now a skin ready to dry and be put in the collection upon the mammal team's return to the museum. It turned out surprisingly good given my lack of expereimce. Phil is impressed, which makes me smile. After lunch I hike up to a ridgeline with a view down towards Essex where we are able to get cell reception so I can check email - nothing importatnt - my favorite kind of emails. I go back top camp and listen to Howard tell stories of his dog handling career in the Vietnam War. He mentions how closely you have to pay attention to cues from the dog since they can't speak to you - cool stuff. I head out for an hour or so with a .410 since we have seen a number of audobon's cottontails but none collected, yet. Collecting is part of the museum's deal, like it or not. I return successfully with a nice clean specimen with no obvious wounds or bleeding to sour the skin. Some of the other mammals found during the field trip so far include Dipodopmys panamantinus, D. merriami, Peromyscus ermeicus, P. crinatus, and Neotoma lepida. Other mammals observed include antelope ground squirrels, jackrabbits, and coyotes (yipping only).
It is late afternoon and I head back to my camp area and cook up some soup so I can get ready to mist net again. No sign of the rancher but his cattle are mulling around the guzzler. I start to walk over towards them and they quickly skidaddle away up the wash so I can net the guzzler without disturbance. It is not as windy tonight but noticebly cooler. I set my net but am skepticle of any activity. Phil walks past to check his nets and close them for the evening. He sees a phainopepla (male) and begins to pursue it. I climb in to the front seat of my FJ having set the EMT/ipad bat detector set up on my hood so I can watch 'bat TV' from inside the warmth of the cab. Shortly after darkness, Phil comes back and is pretty gleeful I can tell. He has captured a Crissal's Thrasher in a net (he borrowed my bat mist nets this week so I feel a sense of pride as an accomplice). He mentions how these are quite prevalent here now but were few and far between during the original expedition some 80 years ago. Another example of possible species community change in this area. He tells me of other birds he has seen this day including a ladderback woodpecker and then heads back to the main camp and I continue to watch for bat activity on the ipad. I do see one small glimpse of a call sequence - like tiny brush strokes on a canvas - it is another California myotis, or perhaps the same individual from the night before. I check the net but no bats. I see no more activity on the detector and so again at 7pm I break down my mist net, alas with no capture success - and it is below 40 F at this point. Bats 2, SDNHM 0. After breaking down the gear I climb into the back of my FJ tent mobile and put on some music to go to sleep to. The tune that comes on is quite fitting - 'At dawn they sleep'. Goodnight, natural world.

פורסם על-ידי dcstokes dcstokes, נובמבר 30, 2016 10:46 אחה"צ






נובמבר 28, 2016 01:15 PM PST


Drowned in guzzler with no escape ramp. Collected on 28 Nov 2016 and specimen prepared on 29 Nov 2016 by D. Stokes.



Crissal's thrasher! So cool. I used to do thrasher surveys in JOTR and have never seen one. I think there are maybe 5 observation records at JOTR for Crissal's.

פורסם על-ידי steph_taylor לפני יותר מ 4 שנים (סמן)

Nice! I had never seen one, I don't think they are very common. Birds have so much cool detail when you get to see them up close, including how their eyes look. This one had very nice light brown eyes.

פורסם על-ידי dcstokes לפני יותר מ 4 שנים (סמן)

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