Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Nesting Season Offically Ends

This is the last blog post for the season. I've really enjoyed watching the terns, skimmers, oystercatcher, etc as they courted, nested, cared for their tiny chicks, taught their young fledglings to fish and fly, andthen told us goodbye by disappearing. An added bonus was making new friends among the other stewards and sharing our excitment with those walking along the beach.We celebrated with a great "thank you" party for the Wrightsville Beach Bird Stewards.

Here are the last of the skimmer chicks hanging out on the beach during the final Bird Hike on 9/13. 

A lone least tern stopped in to say goodbye.

 We're hoping this skimmer chick learns to do more than just stretch its wings!

The fencing came down quickly last Sunday, 9/15, with a large group of volunteers removing the posts and string and then making a last sweep of the area for litter.

And now????
Time to head to the north end of Wrighstville Beach 
where many migrating shore birds are hanging out at Mason Inlet.

and to keep patroling the beaches for fishing line that can get tangled up 
on unsuspecting birds and may cause a bird to lose a leg.

If you are interested in volunteering next year contact Marlene Eader at 

And you can continue tracking our oystercatcher (Radar/Oreo) at

Sunday, September 8, 2013

And then there were three....

At our Bird Walk on Friday we saw what we believe are the last of the "chicks" for the season. There were three fledging skimmer chicks near the shore line and about five adults encouraging them to get ready to head south.  There are still some sightings of terns (least, common, royal, sandwich, etc.) but they seem to be isolated cases.  The oystercatchers were nowhere to be seen on Friday but you can track Oreo/Radar at

There is one more scheduled Bird Walk this Friday (9/13) leaving from the gazebo at the southern end of Wrightsville Beach at 9 a.m.  And rumor has it that the "fence" is coming down mid-September. After that I will round up the last of my photos for one last blog entry and say goodbye until next year.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The End of the Nesting Season = Success and Sadness

The last few weeks we have been seeing less and less of our nesting birds. Last Friday the terns were all gone. There were still some American Oystercatchers and Black Skimmers with their fledglings but soon most of them will also head south. Our bird stewards have done an incredible job keeping the nesting area secure and sharing lots of information and close-ups of the chicks with the public. I'm still not sure who had more fun.... those of us showing the fuzzy chicks or the delighted beach walkers seeing a baby tern/ oystercatcher/skimmer for the first time. I think we all have a new appreciation for the emotions behind "empty nest syndrome"!

Here are a few pictures from our last several beach walks (August 9, 16, 23).  The weekly Audubon Bird Walks will continue at the southern end of the beach Friday mornings at 9 until mid-September.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Audubon Art Works presents…. Gyotaku in the Gazebo

Gyotaku is the traditional method of Japanese fish printing, dating from the   mid-1800s that is now practiced around the world. This form of printing was   used by Japanese fishermen as a means of keeping record of their catches.
Despite the threat of rain we had a creative group of all ages join us at the gazebo Thursday morning. We learned about the special habitat and food sources of wild birds living and nesting on Wrightsville Beach. Then using pinfish, mullet, etc.,we got messy and imaginative as we made our own Gyotaku fish print creations. 
Many thanks to local artist and teacher, Kristen Frey for this experience!!!!

Lindsay and Marlene made some pipe cleaner bird "footprints" for us to use....

Tara brought us some fish!

and with Kristen's help we created our masterpieces!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pelican Banding

This morning a group of Bird Stewards and others banded 886 pelican chicks.... what an experience! I am posting 90+ photos to give a small idea of what happened and to show how much we all enjoyed being part of this adventure.

Lindsay with a herring gull chick

This video will give you a sense of what it felt like to be on the island with the chicks.....