Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tri-State Bird & Rescue Oil Spill Workshop

The end of October I attended:

OIL SPILLS AND WILDLIFE: Workshop for Marine Mammals and Birds

Sponsored by: Clear into the Future: A DuPont Delaware Estuary Initiative

Presented by: Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, Inc.

Hosted by: Marine Education Research & Rehabilitation Center, Inc.

I am by nature "project oriented", thus as a newbie-birder I started birding not thru club meetings/ and field trips but by field projects.  

This past season I did: DE's Fish and Wildlife's Red-Knot Re-sighting and Piping Plover Monitoring gigs, and ended the season with CHSP's Hawk Watch.

Thus when a friend passed on the info for the workshop, I was compelled to attend!  

Who knew that after 9 hours of presentations and a hands-on workshop, I'd be curious to learn more; especially since further training is dead-on mind numbing FEMA ICS 100/200 regulatory stuff!

I soaked in every moment: driving on Pilottown Road, along the canal ( this is where I want my next home!) which is home to the Coast Guard and the location of the workshop, University of DE, the wonderful classroom with a low profile view to the outdoors, the smells of tea, coffee, bagels and muffins for our breaks..... but most of all a room full of DNREC, Coast Guard, and Meer volunteers.

It is possible that I was the only "bird" volunteer that is not part of Meer.

I loved it when my ~ 80 year old Meer volunteer friend showed up at least an hour late and took copious notes and asked spot-on questions.

Two hour lectures were condensed into 25 minute presentations!

Our brains kept apace and looked forward to the afternoon hands-on workshop. 

Our dear Opal The Whale's now cleaned skull greeted us at Meer's doorstep.  Soon we suited up with Tyvek jumpsuits, rubber gloves and then an over-glove and gauntlet!  Ooohh, how I wished I had kept the outfit for Halloween!

Soon we were peering over a metal washbasin with Dawn suds everywhere washing clean an oiled, very dead, very frozen Canada Goose circa 2008!

Later we tried our field skills holding stuffed birds....... and doing a mini field walk populated by more stuffed animals and decoys.

My favorite moment was when a gull came in to check out the scene and in particular a bright yellow rubber snake!

Tri-State is a historical name but is known worldwide for their work.

Have oiled bird: will travel to you.  They prefer The Islands!

*Our workshop certificate declared: OSHA training, 4 hours. Kind of a surprise, kind of not!

Beach Blessings,

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