Saturday, June 28, 2008

do goldfinches eat barnacles?

Coffee of the day: Ethiopian Yrgacheffe.
Stuck on drawbridge: No
Late: yes
Weather: fog, mist, fierce east wind

Piping Plover stats
Adult Pairs
Refuge 7
Sandy Point 5
Total 12

Nests Incubated
Refuge 3
Sandy Point 2
Total 5

Nests Hatched
Refuge 2
Sandy Point 2
Total 4

Chicks <25 days
Refuge 2
Sandy Point 8
Total 10

Chicks >25 days
Refuge 4
Sandy Point None
Total 4

New piping plover nest too.

Least Tern stats
Pairs 35
Colonies 2
Chicks 1

Interesting bird behaviors of the day:
  1. Great blue heron standing at the water line for almost two hours, stock still, while the tide began to come in around him. I don't remember ever seeing a great blue on the beach before.
  2. A pair of American goldfinches flew in over the dunes, landed on some rocks and began to peck at barnacles. They hung around doing this for about 10 minutes, then flew back toward the dunes. Do goldfinches eat barnacles?
  3. Bonaparte's gulls act like shorebirds. Actually this isn't the first time I've seen this but it's still worth remarking on. A small flock of 3 to 4 Bonaparte's gulls was working the waterline probing the wet send with their bills. They walked along, sometimes even doing the foot trembling thing, and paused to probe. Whatever they were eating was small and dark and hard to identify in the fog.
  4. Tree swallows landing en masse and resting on the beach.
Visitors: 4, two of whom walked right past me into the closed area. One just wasn't paying attention. The other was actively trying to avoid me.

Bird list for today includes only those birds seen on the beach:

Bonaparte's gull
great black back gull
ringbilled gull
herring gull
double crested cormorant
least tern
American goldfinch
great blue heron
common loon
common eider
tree swallow

No witty narrative today. We have tix to see Richard Thompson tonight. Must get going.

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