I've spent 6 months preparing. I started hiring people back in November. After winter break I started getting my proposal fixed up for my second season of research. I also set up the rental vehicles, the house (what a mess!), orders some equipment, and put the new employees through lots of paperwork (ugh). So, with a slightly smaller budget this year we have a crew of 9 including me. Not too bad--but the lowest it has ever been. We are not monitoring Warner Valley nests like we did last year. And Constanza has officially graduated (yay!) so no mammal work. But we will be monitoring and resighting birds in many many meadows as usual in the Truckee, South Lake, and Warner areas--I think its about 40 sites. Plus, the new addition to the operation are the nest cameras. I love having the opportunity to work with electronics and possibly set things on fire (sarcasm). No conspecific attraction work this year either because of fewer people-- a surprise to me as it may have worked last year, but hey, I don't make those decisions.
I visited Martis the other day and briefly surveyed the usual WIFL territories. No WIFL, but I did find a sneaky DUFL. Same result at Perazzo, LT 1, and LT 3. So it seems that have not yet arrived, but I'm excited to see who does arrive when they finally get here! Will probably take the truck out tomorrow morning for another check before I return our rental truck.
Other than premature WIFL searching I've been carting equipment all over the place. Two loads of stuff in my car from Reno, plus and 8 hour round trip in a truck to Mammoth Lakes. Still missed a few things! Ugh. Why do we have so much crap?!
Truckee is the same...except that the Truckee Diner appears to be for sale and therefore closed. I don't know what I will do without their fabulous milkshakes this summer. (Its an original 1940s diner moved from West Chester, PA, and renovated in 1995) Plus there is construction on Donner Lake Rd. that is blocking people from dock parties! I took some pics of Donner though. And I had forgotten how beautiful those snowy mountains really were around Yosemite! Sigh...I love the Sierras. Am going to miss them.
That's all for now. The office is set and the crew is starting to come in today. Although I'm not really looking forward to training a brand new crew on my own--for the past 4 years we've always had at least a couple "returnees" so I didn't really have to do much work. :-) But I'm excited about the new crew.
Photos of good old Donner Lake: