Friday June 28 AM Shift North (sort of)Coffee of the Day:Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
Bird of the Day: red-necked stint
Weird Wrack Item of the Week: Hotsticks bag
Invisi-bird Status: Refuge beach: 31 pairs, 13 active nests, 34 chicks, no fledglings yet. Sandy Point: 4 pairs,7 chicks. Town beach: 0. Number actually seen by me: 2.
It was pouring rain when I woke up, but mindful of how the rain tricked me 2 weeks ago and stopped by 10AM, I decided to go to the refuge anyway, aiming for 9AM instead of 8. It was still raining when I bought my coffee at PICR, raining even harder as I passed the historic aerodrome, and still raining when I got to the refuge. There was not a single car in Lot 1(well, except mine) and not a soul on the north end of the beach. So where were all the cars that had entered the refuge ahead of me? A chance encounter with His Royal Highness, the King of Plum Island, aka Tom Wetmore revealed the answer. The red-necked stint that had been reported on the massbird listserve was being seen at the south end of the refuge beach. With no reason to get rained on at the north boundary, I high-tailed it south.
|Willet on the Town Marker in the Rain|
Aside from nearly getting conked in the head with a birder's tripod as he was leaving the beach (the other birders pointed out that it would be a really bad idea to knock out a refuge volunteer :-)), I had no trouble finding the birders or the stint. Obviously I did not have my scope with me, as I was equipped for a day of plover wardening, not a day of rarity chasing, but several people volunteered to lower their scopes down to my height and I accepted one of the offers -- a very nice lady.
|Somewhat Drier Birders on the Red-Necked Stint|
|Stint (Right Foreground) with Some Friends|
|Bank Swallow Nests|
The rain had let up and I'd gotten good looks at the stint, so I figured I would go back to the north boundary just to check on things. Things were quiet visitor-wise. A pair of piping plovers were feeding on the town beach. I spotted the remains of a bonfire on refuge property, fairly close to the closed area. The bonfires have been moving slowly southward from week to week from the dunes at the town beach to the the Lot 1 access road between the dunes to right out there on the refuge beach.
This week's fire people meant business. I found an empty plastic bag of Hotsticks fire-starters.
|Bag That Contained Bug Free, Kiln-Dried, Premium Hardwood Fire-starters|
Friday June 21 AM Shift North
Coffee of the Day: Boatyard Brew
Bird of the Day: Bonaparte's gull
Weird Wrack Item of the Week: unidentifiable plastic thing
Invisi-bird Status (actually from 6/14 -- didn't get an update on 6/21): Refuge beach: 32 pairs, 15 active nests, 28 chicks, no fledglings yet. Town beach: 0. Number actually seen by me: 3.
It was one of those days with lots of tiny moments.
Three visitors exclaimed that the new boardwalk, especially the stairs, is a work of art.
A third grader asked an excellent question about how the piping plover's nest site choices were being affected by sea-level rise and global warming.
A fisherman caught a flounder and kids came running from all over the beach to see it.
As I was thinking "gee, I haven't seen any Bonaparte's gulls this year" a small flock of them landed next to the ring-billed gulls on the beach.
I got a nice shot of a piping plover contemplating the vastness of the ocean.
|Weird Wrack Item of the Week|
|Bonfire Remnants on Refuge Property|