Wednesday, May 21, 2014

May 2 - Waves, Longtailed Ducks, and Interesting Wrack Items

Sea and Sky
Coffee of the Day: French Roast
Bird of the Day: long tailed duck
Weird Wrack Item of the Week: paint-spattered hard hat
Invisi-bird Status: Refuge beach: 16 pairs, Sandy Point: 2 pairs, Town beach: 0, Number actually seen by me: 3.

The invisi-birds were getting pretty bold today, at times even feeding right in front of me outside the closed area -- still on the refuge, not the town beach, so no worries. Three of them were spread out along the water line, often doing the foot trembling thing to stir up the intertidal muck in search of tiny invertebrates.

Doing the Foot Trembling Thing
We've had some big waves lately and some new interesting trash has washed up. Hmm, could I make a career out of photographing trash in the wrack line? Probably not, but if by taking pictures of it, I can show how big a problem it is, I'll keep doing it.

Construction Hard Hat
As I walked along the wrack line, I noticed some weird wrack items that appeared to be related. A paint spattered hard hat lay a dozen yards north of an empty rusting paint can.  Of course, there's no telling if they came from the same construction site, but they could have.
Paint Can
Big waves bring up more than trash, though. I found many different kinds of seaweed.
Hundreds of long tailed ducks were hanging out just offshore - naked eye identification range. The coolest thing about them was a behavior I had not seen before. They were surfing, riding the curl, and then diving into the wave just before it would break over them. I tried to get a photo of them doing this, but by the time I would get them in focus, they were underwater.
In other bird news, cormorants are on the move, tree swallow numbers are increasing, and a flock of 50+ sanderlings flew over in their tight, mind-melded way.

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