Dredge and Rainey Report
December 06, 2013
Summary of accomplishments:
- No dredging
- Shorebird Survey
- Dredge maintenance – installed replacement winch for right traveling cable
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Tuesday, December 3, 2013 – Plover Survey
It was a foggy drive through southwest Louisiana and Timmy met me at the boat ramp at 8:30. On the way in to the Sanctuary, Timmy drove through the Coles Bayou area canals to survey levee condition and look for breaches and water control structures for our GIS database.
We also stopped by the dredge site to check on conditions and acquire updated photography. No matter what the waterlevel, we always have birds in the marsh creation site. Today it was Yellow-legs and Black-necked stilts that flushed from the shallow pond.
As soon as I unloaded my gear at the headquarters, we loaded up the 4-wheeler and cart and went to the beach to count shorebirds. A thick sea-fog kept rolling in and out all day. Although we count all the birds we see along our 9-mile long beach, we keep a special lookout for plovers since some of the species are experiencing survival challenges. On this trip we counted 9 Piping Plovers on the West Rainey Beach, and 39 behind the breakwaters on the East Rainey Beach.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
The next morning promised another foggy day, so we both used it to catch up on reports, do a bit of data crunching, and submit our eBird data from yesterday. We noticed a marsh fire to our southwest, probably in the south Christian Marsh area.
When the inside work was done, we went to the dredge to put the new winch on the right traveling cable that had died last fall. As soon as the battery box was opened, wasps poured out, and I ran to the back of the barge, leaving Timmy to convince them to vacate (I am borderline allergic). I did return to help him bolt the new unit into place.
Before we could run the pump and test the system, we needed to add more hydraulic oil. Timmy left me armed with wasp spray while he went back to house to get some. After adding hydraulic oil to unit, we ran the pump for 45 minutes.
On earlier trips to the marsh creation site on the pond side, we had noticed scat on our boardwalk. To see what is in the area, Timmy installed a trail cam on dredge walkway. This should be interesting.
Karen A Westphal and Timmy J Vincent, National Audubon Society Audubon Louisiana and the Paul J Rainey Wildlife Refuge 6160 Perkins Road, Suite 215, Baton Rouge, LA 70808 225-768-0921x202 office, email@example.com