Today was our first day in the field. Our site was called Big Meadow, and it was a very open area near a creek dominated by short trees and grasses. Apparently, they had a bad fire in 1993 that took out most of the trees. We opened at sunrise (~5:30) and left the nets open until around noon, checking them around every thirty minutes. I'm still learning the protocol, so I spent most of the day observing. Hopefully I'll get to do some extractions tomorrow.
We didn't have very many birds today, but we did have lots of visitors from the Audubon Society and a youth program called the Yosemite Institute. I also saw a Gopher Snake and two mule deer.
The way back was really exciting. I saw my first bear in the park. It was located at one of our banding stations that we will be visiting later this week. Very cool! It was mellow the whole time. We knew it was there because of the "bear jam" that kept the cars moving slow. Hopefully more to come, but don't worry, I'll be careful.