Sitancun village - Outside Lanzhou
The day started out with a wonderful skype call with Sam and the kids! Noah and Ayla practiced their instruments with me on skype and I got to share my breakfast with them via our video chat! Noah went outside to stand under the sun and said that we were sharing a sun moment because I, too, was standing under the sun, but on the other side of the world. The 13-hour time difference means that I’ve been able to connect with Sam, Noah and Ayla just as I am about to go to bed and they are waking up and vice versa. So far, we’ve been able to be in touch through skype enough for me to show them a few sites around my hotel room. Today they got to see a bit of the outside of the lodge we are staying in outside of Lanzhou (small city of Sitancun). They enjoyed seeing the mountains that surround the lodge and the small group I am traveling with! Plus, our ‘simple’ Chinese breakfast looks pretty darn good: a salad of shredded carrots with ginger and sesame, fresh steamed buns, hot porridge and hard boiled eggs!
Today was long and involved a lot more of the same: walking, looking for birds, talking with people, asking for permission. The exciting news is that we saw two, possibly three more banded birds! The not-so-exciting news is that despite a pretty good attempt later in the evening, we did not get those birds in our net… yet…. But we will. Barn swallows are clever, but so are we. We’ll dig a bit deeper into our bag of tricks tomorrow, first thing, and see what we can do to get these birds in our hands and the tags off their backs. So far, we’ve easily caught 12 birds – several breeding pairs that were roosting together which provides nice data for us on how pairs form.