Tuesday, July 21, 2015

rain keeps greenheads away

Saturday July 18
AM Shift North
Coffee of the Day: Tanzania Peaberry
Bird of the Day: herring gull
Weird Wrack Item of the Week: tie between plastic beach anchor and weird earthen mound with green plastic bit
Invisi-bird Status: Refuge: 9 pairs, 1 nest, 18 chicks, 26 fledglings; Sandy Point: 10 pairs, 3 nests, 17 chicks, zero fledglings; Town Beach: 3 pairs, zero nests, 8 chicks, zero fledglings. Number actually seen by me: zero.

Looking South
It was raining when I got up and I wondered if I should bother going to the refuge. After about an hour it stopped so I decided to go. Gatehouse was actually a little surprised any plover wardens showed up. Visitors showed up too, though not many.
Looking North
There were quite a few fishermen and no stand up paddle boarders. The fish are allegedly more likely to bite when it's raining, but apparently nobody told the fish that. Nobody got so much as a nibble while I was there.
An osprey flew over my head several times. It didn't catch any fish either. By far the most common bird was the herring gull. There were tons of them. I lost count at 132. They were mainly roosting on the sand in the closed area. Every once in awhile a few more herring gulls would fly in and the least tern air defense command would scramble to drive them away. The least terns were very active and, yes, they were catching fish.
Raindrops on Gull Feather in the Wrack
All of the visitor questions I answered were about the piping plover nesting. It is amazing how many people think the only species that nest on beaches are sea turtles. BTW, we don't have any sea turtles nesting here. People were genuinely interested in what I had to say about the plovers.
Strange Earthen Mound with Green Plastic Thingie
Minor rain showers came and went. The beach was free of greenheads. I think the rain and the cool temperatures kept them away.
Beach Anchor
I had loads of time to walk along the wrack line and observe different types of seaweed (I did not taste the dulse to see if it really tastes like bacon.) I found a plastic "beach anchor" left behind by some beach goer -- I don't think it washed up from somewhere else. There was a mound of sand and seaweed with a shard of plastic on top that clearly looked like somebody arranged it that way. for a second I thought the plastic matched that of the beach anchor, but on closer inspection it didn't.

Gull Who Stands On One Leg and Steals Bait
It started to rain again around 11:30 so I left the beach a tad early. On my way back to the boardwalk, I noticed the remains of a beach bonfire. Thankfully, it was not still smoldering.

Remains of Fire -- Please, People, No Fires on the Refuge

No comments: