Another early day to try and grab some life birds. No new seabirds, but I did get an Orange-Crowned Warbler in a tree in town, as well as Violet-Green Swallows flying overhead.

Feeding, headcount, and hosing all went as well as yesterday. After that, Heidi and I cleaned one set of Steller’s Eider pools…man, do those things get filthy. I know birds poop a lot…but this is almost supernatural.

For lunch, I went to Nellie’s Roadhouse. Probably the last time I’m going to need to get lunch out for a while… I picked up stuff to make sandwiches today. Anyway, it’s a neat little restaurant, complete with caribou antlers and signs plastered all over. It’s sort of like a log cabin. I decided it was time for me to try one of Alaska’s staples: reindeer sausage. In this case, it was served on a ciabatta roll, and filled with sautéed onions and Swiss with a side of sweet potato fries (one of my greatest weaknesses).

Nellie’s didn’t disappoint; the sweet potato fries were good, and the sandwich was awesome. It’s difficult to describe the sausage; it’s somewhat different from venison in flavor, I found, and was on the gamey side. The sausage was nicely-spiced, though, and went perfectly with the onions and Swiss. The verdict?

Take it from a total freaking rockstar from Mars.

I spent the rest of my break taking some pictures. I even managed to catch a Horned Puffin taking a swim on video! Unfortunately, the video plug-in for WordPress costs money, which I’m not spending. I’m thinking of fixing up a Youtube account just for Alaska vids…probably will do that on Friday or Saturday (my days off). In the meantime, have some pictures of fish and shrimp.

Back in Eiderland, it was time to set up some blinds. Things are going to get busy soon, with breeding season around the corner…Heidi told me some of my duties for the season will include gathering samples from a variety of places including (drumroll please), fecal matter. Oh yeah. This just got real.

I also met Hannah, who’s at ASLC from Americorps. We set up the nest blinds and cleaned the rest of the exterior of the Eider area, finishing the job I started with Natalie yesterday. Thanks to her and Heidi, I’ve learned some of the local hotspots for birding, which I’ll have to check out this weekend.

After work ended, I stopped at the Sea Bean for a Queen Anne’s Revenge, an English Toffee/butter rum espresso. The Sea Bean gets some very interesting folks passing through, including an older gentleman who wears a ushanka and tells anyone willing to listen about the government conspiracy to homogenize Alaska with the rest of the states. While this seems pretty much like crazy talk, a lot of Alaskans are proud of their level of independence from the continental U.S., and seem pretty opposed to people moving in and potentially ruining it. To an extent, I understand them.

In the evening, I went out walking along the bay with our two new roommates, Abe and Eugene. I got a few Whimbrels feeding out of the little pools, a pair of Red-Legged Kittiwakes, and an Arctic Tern. I also got some life mammals…two Sea Otters, a River Otter, and some Harbor Seals!!

Tomorrow I work food prep, so I start work an hour early. On the bright side,  I end an hour early, and it’s the end of my work week. You’ll hear from me tomorrow!

Total Alaska Life Bird Count: 14 (Orange-Crowned Warbler, Violet-Green Swallow, Whimbrel, Red-Legged Kittiwake, Arctic Tern).

As always, check out my pictures and videos on Facebook!! I don’t include all the pictures I take in this blog, because the picture uploader on WordPress is a giant pain in the tail feathers.

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