Friday, July 10, 2015

and the days go by

Saturday July 4
AM Shift
Coffee of the Day: Ethiopian Harrar
Bird of the Day: Surf Scoter
Weird Wrack Item of the Week: some weird looking thing with a light on the end.
Invisibird-status: haven't seen an official report. Number seen by me: 1.

The weather was hazy to start off the morning. It was the kind of haze that causes looming. Boats that were actually below the horizon appeared to be flying above the horizon line.  It's kind of a fun thing to try to photograph.

July already? Is time speeding up? This is the key time for plover wardening because there are chicks on the beach who need to feed before they can fledge and this is prime beach time for humans. That said, it was a much quieter shift than I expected for the 4th of July. I answered the usual piping plover breeding cycle questions for a few visitors who were all very nice and genuinely interested.

Stand-up Paddle Boarders
Whether it was the tide, the wind conditions, or just the holiday weekend, the day drew stand-up paddle boarders in droves. They even outnumbered fishermen. At one point there were 10 stand-up paddle boarders and only 3 fishermen within my line of sight. One paddle boarder paddled south from the town beach and landed on the closed area of beach. It's OK if he stays in the water, but this guy walked on the beach.  I called Gatehouse and she got Unit 62. The guy did land again, but by the time 62 arrived on the boardwalk, the paddle boarder was gone.

The incoming tide was bringing in lots of interestingly shaped pieces of kelp. It was a good day for people who like to identify different types of seaweed.

Most of the bird action of the day was least terns chasing great black backs out of their territory. The terns were definitely winning. The most interesting bird sighting I had was two surf scoters just off shore. I usually see them more in the spring and early summer, not so much in July. They're really cool looking birds, but of course they were too far away for me to photograph.

Weird Wrack Item of the Week
The strangest thing I found in the wrack -- between two piles of absolutely normal-looking wrack -- was some kind of long articulated metal thing with what looked like a light on one end. I think it might have come off a boat -- maybe some kind of visibility thing -- but I really have no idea.

Joppa Penguins
The Joppa Flats penguins on their plastic ice floes are back in the Merrimack River just in time for peak kayaking. And yes, kayakers were doing selfies with the penguins.

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