Saturday, May 2, 2009

Catching Up with Summer

Originally uploaded by Captain_Peleg
It was raining, at least at my house, when I got up this morning. Therefore, I called the gatehouse and left a message saying I wasn't coming in. Of course, by late morning it had cleared so I started to feel both guilty and deprived. Anyway, I ain't there today. And furthermore, I didn't get a chance to blog last week. So here is the catch-up entry.

Summer broke out in full force last weekend. Hot and sunny and tons of people on the beach. Dogs too. The town beach allows dogs not on leashes but dogs are not allowed on the refuge. Trouble is dogs can't read. I spent the first 45 minutes of my shift chasing dogs and locating their owners. Not fun. The dog action calmed down as the early morning walkers thinned out and the crowds of beach goers arrived for the first nice day of summer.

It was totally a summer day. Sunbathers, roving packs of teenagers, kids digging holes in the sand, and Science Fiction Fishing Guy (a summer regular) fishing for flounder. The only clue that it was still April was the huge flock of long-tailed ducks . Hundreds and hundreds of them. I'm estimating about 500, maybe more. They started the morning all spread out but as the tide came in and wind shifted around to more southerly I noticed they were all clustering in one spot. Science Fiction Fishing Guy wanted to know what kind of fish they eat because they'd obviously found a good fishing spot.

A few swallows, barn and tree, were catching flies over the sand. Other than that, all the bird action was on the other side of the dunes where warblers and other passerines were arriving in droves.

The most disturbing human action was on the town beach, not on the refuge. Whole family groups were climbing up the dunes and sliding down, grabbing onto the newly planted shoots of beach grass on the way down. This is the dune they built after the house fell into the sea last fall.. Dunes are fragile. Beach grass is necessary. Sand circulates. Etc. Etc. Etc. A local TV station did a story on last weekend's dune destruction. There's probably a lot more I should write about sand, dune formation, and beach grass, but I feel like I've written it a thousand times before . Enough for now.

Invisi-bird status: Still invisible. Up to 6 adults have been reported by various people.

Coffee of the Day:I've forgotten but it was good.

Bird of the day: long-tailed duck of course.

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