Friday, January 13, 2012

Oil Tank Removal on Great Gull Island by the Army Corps of Engineers

At the end of September the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers arrived to take out old oil tanks buried under the structures of the fort.

In planning this work they were careful to do it when the terns were not on the island. This meant they could only work during periods when the weather is apt to be windy which makes it hard to access the island. On September 21 they moved heavy equipment to the island by barge. The men hired by the corps completed removing nine oil tanks in a month and only had to stay on Great Gull Island one night (because of weather) during the time they worked there. The oil tanks had been filled with water before the army left and were in good condition. The men said they would have lasted another eighty years.

They pumped them out, stored the fluid in barrels, then pumped the contents of the barrels into two tanker trucks they brought to the island on a barge.

In order to work on the island they cleared and widened the paths a little, which will be wonderful for the terns as there are now fairly wide cleared areas on the sides of all paths.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rufous Hummingbird

Today, January 10th, Rufous Hummingbird is still here!

Photos by Utku Perktas.
Claire Quinn's first week with George Mason University in Kenya.

 Setting the camera trap.

Augur Buzzard (African Red-tail Hawk) caught and hooded by Claire Quinn.

Simon Thomsett, who set the trap, examining wing and looking for molt.

Back to the wild....!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Matthew Male visits Gull Island today

11:22 a.m. beautiful day, sea like glass, Gannet fishing just off shore.  Matthew and his friend Rodney found a Snowy Owl on the island.  They will put up the dock and empty the last water troughs which have a skim of ice, but are not dammaged.  This is the last visit anyone will make until spring.  The weather has made it difficult to go to the island since the end of October.

The Corps of Engineers removed nine fuel tanks in October, pictures will be posted shortly.

At the American Museum in New York the Rufous Hummingbird was still welcoming visitors at the planetarium entrance of the museum yesterday January 9, 2012.  So far no report of it today.