Thursday, April 13, 2017

the season begins with southwest wind

Friday April 7, 2017
Bird of the Day: American kestrel
Coffee of the Day: Guatamalan
Weird Wrack Item of the Week: blue and white plastic basin
Invisi-bird Status: Official: rumors of them at Sandy Point and Emerson Rocks.  Number actually seen by me: zero, but I did hear one.

Big Waves
The season has begun. Piping plovers have been seen, but not by me.  Time for them to get down to the work of reproducing.

There wasn't much bird activity on the beach at the north end of the refuge. A few scoters of some kind or other bobbed around fairly far offshore between the huge waves. Pro tip: if you watch waves through binoculars long enough -- while trying to identify scoters or othwerise -- you start to get seasick.

I chatted with a birder from Oklahoma who wanted to see eiders and other sea ducks and some purple sandpipers. He wasn't having any luck. I told him his best bet for purple sandpipers was the south end where there are rocks. Purple sandpipers like rocks. As for the scoter-shaped beings between the waves, he couldn't identify them either.

What the Heck is This?
And Why is it in the Wrack Line?
The wind coming out of the southwest kicked up wild eddies of leaves and twigs kind of like dust devils. Sometimes it was hard to tell whether the movement was a flock of birds or just more leaves whirling around. It always turned out to be leaves.

Looking South
Clouds were moving around pretty quickly too. The constantly changing skies made for interesting photos.

Looking North
Most of the stuff in the wrack line was actual wrack rather than trash, except for a large blue plastic container of some kind, the usual lobster traps, and a whole lot of pieces of rope in various sizes.
The rope arranged itself picturesquely along the sand in little groups and included several different types, colors, and textures.

More Rope

The southwest wind brought lots of kestrel sightings and the usual contingent of spring hawk-watchers counting the migrants from Parking Lot 1.

Looking Southwest - Changing Sky

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