Saturday, 24 October 2009

Ed meets Fred

Hi

I arrived safely and I'm now here on Marrowstone Island. No time to rest though, I got straight to work with Fred the Monkey to help clean up Marrowstone Beaches. It was a big job since there was a storm last night and it washed up all kinds of plastic bottles, caps, a broken frisbee, some tires, and even a toothbrush. I told Fred about UK Oceans and the beach clean work I do back home. I explained that often nearly half of the litter is left behind by beach visitors and so if we can stop that we will have halved the problem.

Fred also introduced me to some of the ocean wildlife nearby. It appears that many of the marine animals realise something is not right. We exchanged stories with some surf scooters just down from Alaska. They say that every year they lose more and more of their friends and relatives but they don't know why or where the other birds go to. We talked to ONE western grebe, all we could find. She said her kind is disappearing from earth. Don't know why.

Humans often don't realise that many of us animals can understand each other quite well. I can't talk to all animals though. For example mice are too quite and ants talk to each other using special smells. I watched a crab once doing a strange dance on the sand and clicking his claws, but I don't really know what he was saying either.

I saw some furry little otters swim by and they said they had big trouble because their kelp forest home was disappearing here on the island. We don't have sea otters in the UK. There used to be many river otters in Sussex but now most have disappeared because they were hunted for their fur and in more recent times their habitat has been damaged. The otters didn't hang around for long though because all of a sudden whoosh! 40 or more killer whales appeared. I have never seen a killer whale before, they were so beautiful and graceful. They didn't hang around for long either before they swam off majestically, diving and spouting at the surface.

And then, guess what, Fred gave me a special gift. You may remember me telling you that Fred wore a leg band from an albatross X310. Fred gave me a leg band of my own, from another albatross chick that did not live long enough to fly. Fred asked me to wear the band in memory of the albatross X360 and to remember the Pacific Ocean animals. I hope that the people back in the UK will be as touched by the sad tale as I was when I first heard about the reason why Fred wore a band with the number X360. (see my previous report below). I hope I will get the chance to find out more about these amazing birds and see them doing what they were born to do - fly.

Thanks Fred for such as special day.

Bye for now

Ed

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