September 22, 2017 at 3:26 pm
Jeepers. It has been one of those days. The day started off not that dissimilar from yesterday and we only headed out to Jackson Head in the afternoon. It was another warn and sunny day out on the West Coast, but that did not prevent things from turning a bit southward.
It started when I checked one of the stoat traps along the track to Jackson Head east. A root decided to have a wrestling contest with my foot and won, which send me flying forward banging my right knee on the only rock within a country mile of soft forest floor. It took me quite some time to regain my composure and continued my walk, if in a rather limpy manner.
We found our second logger bird on the nest and we swiftly removed the device from the brave penguin. All good here.
Then sunset. It got dark. I grabbed my torch that I have dangling around my neck whenever I’m in the field. Problem was… there was no torch dangling around my neck this time. Cripes. Well, what do I have a spare head torch for. Huh? The batteries in that one are empty. No worries, I got a whole box of spare batteries in my bag. Only… the box wasn’t there. It wasn’t anywhere and I likely lost it somewhere on the rocks when I grabbed penguin gear for logger recovery.
So it’s dark, and I don’t have any light. So Hotte gives me his spare torch, which happens to be a real crappy handheld thing. And we have three more loggers to deploy. Yay.
We get to the cave below the rock arena where our three logger candidate nests are located. But… none of the females were at home. To find that out, I had to climb on all fours into the cave through centuries of penguin poop. And I dropped the handheld torch which I had been carrying between my teeth. I tried to wipe it clean as best as I could but inevitably ended up with the taste of penguin poop in my mouth while we were attaching a GPS logger on a female tawaki from a neighbouring nest. We got a second device on a bird too. So, it wasn’t all bad.
But my knee is swollen and throbbing, my box of spare batteries is lost forever, and I can’t get the taste of penguin poop out of my mouth no matter how often I brush my teeth.