Thursday, July 2, 2015

life is a beach

Saturday June 27
AM shift

Coffee of the Day: Ethiopian Harrar
Bird of the Day: common tern
Weird Wrack Item of the Week: black thing with holes in it
Invisi-bird Status: haven't seen any numbers in a couple weeks. Number actually seen by me: 1.

Adult Piping Plover in the Haze
The line for coffee at Plum Island Coffee Roasters was out the door and into the parking lot. That's fairly unusual but it's happened a few times recently. Not sure if it's regulars or tourists. In any case, I eventually got my coffee and was only slightly late for my shift.

The day started out really hazy but otherwise a nice beach day. Not too hot. Not too humid. Not too many greenheads yet. No greenheads came anywhere near me and I only saw 2 visitors doing the dance of the greenheads. This is probably the last weekend before the total greenhead onslaught.

Still Hazy to the South
I only had to remind a three people of the boundary to the closed area: one toddler and one young couple walking along the water line focused on the horizon. All were cooperative. A couple of people were full of questions about piping plovers, so I got to do the whole life cycle speech. After that, things were very quiet. I would have expected the beach to be busier as the day grew brighter, but I guess people had already decided where they were going to spend their Saturday and the beach wasn't it.

I saw one adult piping plover, presumably one of the two that I've been seeing regularly.  The most interesting bird of the day was the common tern, even though they are always around. The interesting part was that I watched a common tern try to steal a fish from a double crested cormorant. This was not a small fish suitable for a common tern. The tern failed to get the fish before the cormorant swallowed it, but it did make repeated attempts. I've never seen that before. I've read that common terns do indulge in kleptoparasitism with their own species, but I never heard of them robbing other species.

Weird Wrack Item of the Week
The weird wrack item of the week looked like something that might have come out of the inside of a shoe -- like an insole or something -- but the size and shape were all wrong. I have no idea what it was but it was definitely trash and not something that would normally be on the beach.

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