Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Days 2, 3, 4: Thursday-Saturday, April 9-11

We were up before the sun to get an early start each day. It took about an hour to unload the van, load the canoes and reach the decoy deployment site. The purpose of this trip was to use decoys to attract an ivory-bill within camera range.

With cameras and decoys ready to go, we set out for a location south of AR17 to set up the decoy and video cameras. We were hoping an Ivorybill would take interest in the decoy and check it out. For this deployment we used an animated decoy that has a moving head. We were hoping the movement of the decoys head would make it easier to detect by a passing Ivorybill.

It takes about forty-five minutes to an hour to deploy a decoy and set-up cameras. Each decoy is placed about 15 feet up a tree, making it visible at a greater distance.

One of the trolling motors for the canoes failed before we even got started. So, John and Kevin paddled the entire trip. Paddling is not new for them, but paddling creates additional movement that might draw attention to a passing Ivory-bill and lessen the chance of an encounter.

After decoy deployment we each took a section of the swamp. At different times we each pursued an active search - moving through the swamp, and at times laying in wait for a bird by fly-by.

Taking down the decoys and cameras also took time. Decoys and cameras were taken down each day and re-deployed the next. Approximately 48 hours of video was made during the 3 days of deployment.

We typically got out of the swamp and back to town between 7pm and 7:30pm each evening.

We were not the only searchers in the swamp. On the dates we were in the bayou there were at least two other searchers working in other parts of the swamp.

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