Monday, June 11, 2012

a big fish

beach -- looking south
Coffee of the Day: Ethiopian Harrar
Bird of the Day: least tern
Weird Wrack Item of the Week: large dark mysterious thing on the closed part of the beach -- people kept asking if it was some kind of nest structure for plovers or terns, so I got to explain their nesting habits but never did figure out what the mystery thing was.
Invisi-bird status: unknown (has biological staff been kidnapped by aliens or washed over by a huge rogue wave?); number actually seen by me: zero. The last status I had before the storm and giant high tide was : Refuge beach: 23 pair/21 nests/27 chicks; Sandy Pt: 5 pr/5nests/4 chicks; Town beach: 0. I hope some of the young survived.

Saturday was Go Fish day. That's the event that used to be "Let's Go Fishing" or "Kids Fishing Day" or various other titles over the years.  It started at 9:00 and ran 'til noon so I had a quiet first hour and a  busy rest of the shift. Lots of the usual suspects like Big Steve (whom I hadn't seen since the day of the Steve Trifecta) were there. I saw fisherpeople Rick and Nancy for the first time this season. Still haven't seen Science Fiction Fishing Guy or the bait-stealing grackle. Rick commented that he had yet to see the grackle this season. How long do common grackles live?

Rick getting the rods ready

It took awhile for the fishing kids to arrive from headquarters so the crowd built slowly but did finally get very lively. 

kids -- and adults -- fishing
There were many jokes about fishing for kids, like "how many kids did you catch?" We discovered the way to catch kids is with fish! Big fish! One of the refuge volunteers landed an enormous striper -- 34 pounds! All the kids on the beach made a beeline to the fish. 

big fish
Toddlers were having their parents take photos of them with the huge fish. I've never seen so much excitement about one fish.

fish -- toddler feet for scale
I caught a fish too -- a windblown paper fish bound for the closed area of beach -- in midair. It had the name Maria on the back. I left it at the check-in table near the bait in case Maria came looking for it.

paper fish

I was pretty busy with visitors and other stuff, so I didn't take a whole lot of photos and my bird list for the day is kinda short, but it was a spectacular day to be on the beach.  All the visitors were cooperative. There were no dogs, and I only had to chase one toddler. I got to give the whole piping plover life cycle speech to a couple of people and answered some questions about least terns too. Mainly people wanted to know how the plovers did during the storm. Wish I had up to date info to give them.

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