Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Dr. Ponder's Pinzón Journal Entry #3

Boat across Itabaca Canal
 I have arrived safely in Galapagos and begun the preparations. My trip was better than uneventful. I was a bit concerned about having to haul all my equipment on the last leg of the trip. After landing on Baltra Island, one picks up baggage, carries it to a bus, rides the bus to the canal, boards a boat to cross the canal and then finds a taxi after getting everything off the boat. No wheels, no porters, no one for hire... With all my equipment, this section of travel was a bit daunting. Luckily, though, my friends and colleagues not only sent a driver for me, but had him cross over to Baltra and meet me at the airport. How wonderful to have an unexpected second set of hands. Strong ones at that!

Airport bus to Itabaca Canal

The weekend was spent shopping for things that we source locally and helping the rest of the team get things ready. In addition to the hawks, there are mitigation plans for lava lizards and land iguanas - spent much of yesterday helping prepare equipment for those animals as our hawk plan and preparation.

Finch visitor to Dr. Ponder's room

It has been wonderful to be immersed back in Puerto Ayora, seeing old friends from the last time I was here in 2010, meeting some new ones, and seeing the wonderful native wildlife. I just love watching the frigate birds and pelicans at the dock. I saw a short-eared owl carrying a rat (lunch!) and most of the other expected bird species. I left the door to my room open this morning and had a small finch visitor who flew in to check things out. It stayed awhile, then left the way he came. Never any doubt he knew how to get out.

We are preparing for boat departure in the next day or two. Keep the good thoughts coming my way.  I will send more news as I am able. - Juli

(Note from The Raptor Center:  You can read a press release on the project from the University's Academic Health Center (AHC) here.  Special thank you to Mike and Miranda from AHC for a video of Dr. Ponder describing the project here.)

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