Saturday, June 7, 2008

kid's fishing day in the mist

Today is Kid's Fishing Day on the refuge. Loads of kids, with parents of course, casting their lines in search of stripers or whatever. I didn't see anybody catch anything except other people's lines. It's also apparently boundary moving day, so there was some confusion as to where the south plover warden should be and what was open to whom, but it all eventually settled down. I had lots of people asking questions other than "when will the beach be open". Somebody came around looking for starfish, so I pointed them to the tide pools at Sandy Point. I actually got to talk about piping plovers. That's the best part of the job: telling the story of the cutest birds on the beach! There were even questions about dune vegetation. The beach peas are in full bloom.

The weather was extremely humid and misty. A line of cormorants walking on the sand just north of Emerson Rocks, looked like some kind of religious procession when seen thru the mist. Other times the mist was so thick, I couldn't see them at all.

Flying ants were everywhere. Oddly they did not attract ringbilled gulls, who are the premiere flycatchers among gull kind. In fact in the comparative flycatching department, the only interesting participant was a willet. This is definitely the first time I have seen a willet chase flying insects.

A black-bellied plover hung around Emerson Rocks for most of the morning, feeding along the tide line and moving up the beach as the tide came in. A small flock of Bonaparte's gulls did a flyover. Alas, I saw no Little gulls among them. Maybe if I had the special fog-penetrating binoculars :-) All the usual gull suspects put in appearances, as did sanderlings, semipalmated sandpipers, more willets, and tons and tons of cormorants. Along the road I spotted lots of cedar waxwings in addition to the usual eastern kingbirds, redwinged blackbirds, brown thrashers, and gray catbirds.

Oh, and for those people who are always asking for my sweatshirt, the gift shop at the Visitor Center has them. The shop wasn't open when I stopped in to use the restroom, but I'm sure it will be open when you go there -- whoever you are.

No more blogging this afternoon. Must attend to laundry and then fetch Nancy from the bus station. BTW, evidently Nancy and I have achieved full merger. Unit 3 called me Nancy this morning. :-)

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