We managed to clear out the house by Friday afternoon and were about to head to San Diego, to visit Josh’s family and complete our truck preparations, when we received a call from the folks at the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. They asked us to come up to Bassett’s Station in Sierra County in northern California for a crash course in recording bird vocalizations. We were so excited to hear from the Cornell team! We are thrilled that we can add to the Macaulay Library and who knows we may even be able to record some rare species during the expedition! As we began to reroute our plans to head to the Sierras we also got a call from Zeiss to finalize arrangements for them to sponsor our expedition. They are graciously providing us with their top flight optics for our trip. Wow! Josh and I were jumping with excitement! How incredible! We are more than ecstatic!!
Around 2 in the afternoon we finally bade farewell to Half Moon Bay and headed north to Bassett’s Station. What should of been a 4 1/2 hour drive turned into a 6 1/2 hour grueling drive through the San Francisco Bay Area…ugh, but we were still on cloud 9 so we plodded through the traffic with huge smiles on our faces. We made it to Bassett’s Station around 9 pm and quickly got to work learning the ins and outs of the recording equipment. The next morning we headed out to the field at 4:30 am and the memories of doing field work during my Ph.D came flooding back (Oh, how I miss field work!). We were outfitted with a Sennheiser shotgun microphone and a Marantz PMD 661 recorder. We tried our hands at recording bird vocalizations and had a blast doing it! We recorded MacGillivray’s Warblers, Fox Sparrows, Mountain Chickadees, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Hermit Warblers, and Wilson’s Warblers. We still have a lot to learn and hopefully we will become proficient as we spend more time in the field. Thank you to Greg Budney, Randolph Little, and Brad Walker for showing us the ropes! We are genuinely excited to be able to contribute bird vocalizations to the Macaulay Library!
After we finished our crash course, we started the long drive to San Diego. Despite our fatigue we somehow managed to drive all the way to San Diego. After a day of catching up on sleep and visiting family, we started to prepare the truck for the long trip. We will post more on truck and trip preparations soon.
Special thanks to Zeiss and the Macaulay Library for providing us with equipment. Check Zeiss’s website and like Zeiss on Facebook. Visit the Macaulay Library’s website and like the Macaulay Library on Facebook.