Saturday, December 31, 2011

Feliz nuevo año!

Happy New Year!

And thanks for reading. I began this blog in September because after a year of working in various places on interesting things, I was constantly being asked why I didn’t have one. In the first three months, over 1300 visits have been logged from countries all across the world – US has the most visits and, strangely, Russia the second-most! I also added four coauthors – all very, very good naturalists and good friends.  So here’s to another year of interesting natural discoveries for everyone!

Treefrog - 1 cm - Chascomus, Argentina
I’ll recap my year a little bit (since my year revolved around birds/bugs, it is relevant) and show some pictures from it.

I started 2011 in Buenos Aires ushering in the New Years by getting pickpocketed – then it was off to Salt Lake City for the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology Conference – a hell of a lot of fun and incredibly informative. Then after a couple weeks at home and Cornell (experiencing -18F weather) I set off to erect boxes for the Bahama Swallow on Abaco Island in the Bahamas. Those three weeks were spent chasing birds/building bird boxes with a healthy dose of running on the beach and hanging out with everyone there.

Southern Sea-lion pup, Beagle Channel

Spectacled Tyrant, Chascomus, Argentina

Upland Goose male, Harberton, Argentina

Great Blue Heron, Abaco, Bahamas

La Sagra's Flycatcher, Abaco, Bahamas

Then it was off to Pacora, Peru, a very poor, rural little town in the northern desert. While I had some trials here (illnesses, bribes, severe language barrier), no place in South America has seemed quite as much like home as the Hospedaje Naylamp on calle 28 de Julio (highly recommended). When I was young, a fascination with deserts began (with myself about as removed from a desert as one could ever be) and this was my first time really experiencing a desert. The swallows were small and parched, bright green velvet ants ran their little paths and old dragonfly friends Pantala flavescens and P. hymenaea flew overhead.

Peruvian Meadowlark, Pacora, Peru

Peruvian Thick-knee, Pacora, Peru

After the season ended, a week of travelling with Fernando Angulo (Birdlife International) looking for the Gray-bellied Comet, an endangered hummingbird, in sites where historically it had occurred was fairly unsuccessful – we found it only in the location it was known from – but awesome nonetheless. Then I travelled with my father and sister around the south – Arequipa, Machu Pichu, and Cusco - which was a great end to the trip.

Andean Condor, male, Arequipa, Peru

Giant Humminbird fledgling, Ancash, Peru

Mourning Sierra-Finch, a personal favorite bird, Arequipa, Peru

Vicuna, Arequipa, Peru
Then off to Nantucket to work for the Maria Mitchell Association on insect/bird stuff until September.

Automeris io, Nantucket

Automeris io, Nantucket (changed a bit, aye?)

Barn Owl, which one of the coauthors, Julia Blyth is studying
October brought me to Chiloe, where I still am now…

Remember that skull? Dromiciops gliroides, el monito del monte
Rhionaeschna sp., Chiloe Island

More later!

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