Wednesday, May 8, 2013

windy day with seaweed

With the great weather we'd been having all week, I did not expect Friday morning to be windy and cold. Yet another reminder that the weather on the beach is not the same as the weather inland, I guess. Luckily I had good coffee to keep me warm :-)

Coffee of the Day: Ethiopian Harrar
Bird of the Day: osprey
Weird Wrack Item of the Week: party, remains of
Invisi-bird Status: Refuge beach: 13 pair, 2 nests; Sandy Point: 2 pair; Town beach: 0. Number actually seen by me: zero.

The skies to the south looked gray and low. The view to the north was brighter and the clouds weren't quite so low. The wind just kept on blowing steadily the whole morning. Biological staff (aka Jim) came by on the ATV with a ride-along (this is a new thing this year where volunteers can sign up to ride along with biological staff on one of his surveys). I told him I had not seen a single piping plover or any other shorebird yet that morning.

I never did see any shorebirds, but did see herring gulls, ring-billed gulls, and a couple of great black backs. There were a lot of  cormorants but fewer than last week. The absolute bird highlight of the day was an osprey that flew right over my head toward the water.  No need for binoculars, he was so low.

A Party?
The wrack was mostly actual wrack, basically rockweed and knotted wrack. Of course, the wrackline and the beach were not entirely free of trash (it will be a great day when they are) so I found plenty of weird stuff to photograph. By far the weirdest thing was the remains of a bonfire, apparently the setting for a major party given the number of beer bottles surrounding it.

An Outlier
Most of the beer bottles were clustered close to the charred wood remains of the fire, but there were a few outliers poking up from the sand nearby.

They Left the Matches
They even left the box of matches behind. That's a first. All this except for one of the outlier beer bottles was on the town beach, not on refuge property.

Artistic Arrangement of Wrack and Hooksett Disk
There was the inevitable Hooksett disc, of course. There is always at least one. I'm so tuned in to Hooksett discs, I thought I saw one on an Audubon refuge in Gardner last week. It was a somewhat similar looking plastic thingie, so they actually haven't penetrated as far inland as Central Mass. :-)

The wrack was looking very photogenic, almost like those Victorian arrangements of pressed seaweed that were all the rage in the 19th century. I had almost no visitors (only one) so had plenty of time to admire the wrack, build a stick fence as the tide went out, and watch the ring-billed gulls put on a demonstration of how to fly into the wind.

More Wrack

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