Tuesday, July 3, 2012

definitely summer

looking south

Coffee of the Day: Ethiopian Sidamo
Bird of the Day: osprey
Weird Wrack Item of the Week: green plastic thing (see photo)
Invisi-bird Status: no update from biological staff. Number actually seen by me: one adult.
Coast Guard Assets: none
General Aviation Craft: lots of 'em including a stunt plane

I couldn't have asked for better birds or more cooperative visitors for a hot Saturday morning. The bird of the day has to be the osprey. As I was driving over the bridge onto the island an osprey flew over with a fish in its talons. When I got to the beach, two osprey were fishing right off the Lot 1 beach. I got good looks at all three of these magnificent birds. A visitor asked me whether "those big birds" were eagles, so I got to talk a little bit about ospreys in addition to piping plovers.

Judging from the footprints in the sand, someone had clearly entered and left the closed area before I got there. I'm guessing it was not biological staff or somebody would have told me.

looking north
All visitors were well behaved, even the ones whose iPods prevented them from reading the signs. I did have to intercept three of these iPod victims to keep them out of the closed area, but they were very nice about it. Many visitors were actually interested in piping plovers, so I got to give my whole life cycle spiel several times.

A single adult piping plover landed near the north boundary and worked its way up the beach from the water to the wrack line methodically employing several plover feeding methods, from foot trembling on the wet sand to fly-catching in the wrack.  There were several lines of small shells and tiny bits of wrack left behind as the tide receded and it was amazing to me to see the piping plover find tiny crustaceans to each in these mini wrack lines. I never, ever, get tired of watching piping plovers. They are the cutest thing on the planet.

weird wrack item of the week
Strange plastic things are always washing up in the wrack and Saturday was no different. I have no idea what this green plastic thing is, but it sure stood out.

I was hoping to catch a glimpse of the Blue Angels who were at Portsmouth, but I guess their show didn't start 'til later. I did however see a small vintage stunt plane doing loops, rolls, and drops out over the water. Several of the visitors watched it too. Another airshow! Oh, and there was a gull/tern airshow too when they went into a giant feeding frenzy as bluefish were running. Blues running in June is a tiny bit early, but everything is early this year. The greenheads are out early and were much in evidence at the gatehouse. The wind pretty much kept them down on the beach, though I did see someone swat one with a paperback book. Good thing they didn't try that with a Kindle :-)

It is definitely summer.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The weird thingie is a spinner for fireworks.......