|The first site of our marsh bird survey|
After a few minutes of paddling downstream we reached our first point of the day and did our best to ground the kayaks on what few patches of solid ground we could find. We then disembarked and pushed our way through the tall grass to a vantage point. I was acting as Dorothy’s recorder as she identified what bird species she could see or hear. I recorded what bird species she could see/hear for five minutes and then we played a series of calls through a speaker to see what birds would respond. We then kayaked to the second and final spot of the day and grounded ourselves on mudbank with a clear line of sight to an osprey nest (scaring away a number of fiddler crabs in the process). We then repeated the process we did at the first site. It was fascinating to watch Dorothy work and her expertise quickly became apparent as she easily picked out species and estimated their distance. It was also interesting to see the variety of species out there and I got the chance to see some species I’ve never encountered before that are native to the region. After returning back to Dorothy’s office I assisted her with some office tasks for the remainder of the day. There are a variety of other natural resources projects going on that rely on volunteers so most of the work I completed was organizing and digitizing data the volunteer groups had collected.
Tuesday I was able to test out my GIS chops while working with COLO’s GIS specialist Dave Frederick. We sat down for a while and discussed the scope of his work at the park and then he put me to work. COLO is taking over a piece of land with significance to Native American history in this region but we have no maps of the area. I was tasked with finding parcel data for the area and then digitizing this on satellite imagery of the area. This was necessary as the land that COLO will be maintaining consists only of certain parcels within an areas surround by parcels owned by private parties. I won’t bore you with the details of how I accomplished my task but I will include a picture of the finished product.
|The fruits of my GIS labors|
To end my week on Friday I got the chance to have a brief taste of law enforcement before finishing up my work with natural resources. I started my day around 5 PM by rejoining Ranger Lamb in his patrol car. We patrolled the parkway as it was rush around and kept an eye out for traffic violations. As next week will be my second week with law enforcement Ranger Lamb decided to step up my responsibilities. He increased my amount of radio presence by having me call in the traffic stops we were making to dispatch. I then also got the chance to practice written warnings. Ranger Lamb then dropped me off around 9PM to begin the rest of my duties for the day.
|Me and a rough green snake|