EARTHWATCH, WEEK 1
Young people, new birds.
It was a pleasant surprise that for the first time we had a crew of volunteers who were mostly young, this first week of our 2019 work studying loons on Lake Jocassee. Bright, engaged and mostly digital-device free, they were excellent assistants and all-around good company. It was also the first week we’ve had Earthwatch volunteers and scientists here to study loons in January, the month loons lose all their flight feathers, so we got some good looks at some very torn and tattered old feathers, observed still attached but being discarded in preparation for all the new growth soon to come. For the most part it was a mirror calm week on the lake, just perfect for hanging out with loons. We banded one bird, for the first time in the open water of the lower lake. The night was dark and star-filled, as only winter nights can be around here. ~B