This is one of the days that I have been looking forward to the most since I accepted this job. Its not like i had to wait log for it either; what is it like day 6?!?. Today we head out to band Peregrine Falcon chicks on Precipice Trail. in order to get to this scrape, that is what falcons nest in a scrape, we had to climb up the several hundred feet to get to this site. It is also necessary to drop over the side of the cliff to get to the nest. This was handled by Bruce, the boss, and Chris, a park ranger who climbs. Here is a diagram of what i am talking about:
We started the climb around 1100 and got to the area just above the nest at noon. I would just like to state for the record that this is a, for a big guy like me, difficult climb. at some points we were using these metal rungs to climb exposed faces of the cliff. It was tiring, exhausting and FUN! I would do it all over again if they asked. There was only one minor (?) mishap on the entire climb. Yes you guessed it, it involved me (why else would i be telling you right :D). right before i got to where I stood for the banding I was climbing down off of one boulder to the shelf and my foot got stuck under me so i yanked it out with all my waning strength and kicked another boulder that was right there with my shin. OUCH! Not what i actually said but my kids might read this ;) I pushed on to where Bruce and Chris were going to drop over the edge to get the chicks. just before Bruce went over he looks at me and asks ‘did you hurt your self?’ I look down and this is what i see. The next photos are not for the feint-of-heart.
When I got home this is what it looked like after cleaning it up…
NO WAY! I am not showing you guys something like that needless to say it was not pretty and i should have probably gotten stitches but it didn’t hurt and eventually stopped bleeding. My roommate, Adam, let use his neosporin.
--As a side note I will be introducing my roommates soon--
what follows is a poor representation of the Peregrine parents and the acrobatics that occurred while Bruce and Chris were at the nest and on their way to the nest. We were at the scrape for about an hour and the parents flew and scream at us the entire time.
That is for today, I am tired sore and still a little bloody, good night.