Monday, April 20, 2015

windy day on the beach

Saturday April 11
AM Shift - North
Coffee of the day: Tanzania Peaberry
Bird of the day: osprey
Weird wrack item of the week: shoe insoles
Invisi-bird status: No official report yet. Number actually seen by me: 2
Big Waves
Boy, I thought last Saturday was really windy until today's extremely, really, most sincerely windy shift. The wind blew my glasses off my face, my hat off my head, and the coffee out of my cup. Every time I stood up, the wind blew my chair over until I finally put a hefty piece of driftwood through the chair legs to hold it down. The wind made for some spectacular waves too, bringing out the surfers and stand-up paddle-boarders. None of them were doing yoga, so I still have not actually seen anyone doing stand-up paddle-board yoga yet.

Looking South

A pair of piping plovers landed on the beach just south of me and fed at the water line for awhile before taking off for points further south. I hear tell there are others around, but the majority seem to be hanging out far enough south that I am not seeing them with binoculars.

Looking North
The wind kept the visitor numbers down, but I did chat with a couple of people who wanted to know more about piping plovers. One guy was a photographer who wanted to know when shorebirds are more active: morning or night. I answered "low tide".  Morning vs. night doesn't make nearly as much difference in how active they are as the tide does. The more exposed wet sand or mud there is, the more likely they are to be feeding. Of course, they do also feed at the wrack line, but there isn't much wrack on the beach right now.

Weird Wrack Item of the Week
As I was noticing how little sea weed and other wrack line type plant matter there was, I came across two shoe soles in varying states of damage about 50 yards apart. I do not think they are from the same pair of shoes, judging by the nail hole pattern. Together they qualify as weird wrack item of the week.

Another Sole?
Rarely do gulls leave alone a dead fish on the beach, but there was so little meat left on the one I found, that not a single gull even glanced at it.
Dead Fish
The birding highlight of the day came toward the end of the shift when I spotted an osprey out of the corner of my eye.  This was my first osprey sighting of the season, always a joy. The visitors had all left the beach because of the wind, so I had plenty of leisure to watch it through binoculars at close range. It didn't catch anything while I was watching, but it was splendid just to watch it fly.

Crab Shells

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