The dredging continues but the birds have not been stopped.
In fact Green Herons have been observed even before you reach the beach. Look for nests in the hedges along the parking strip between public access 43 and 44.
And once you reach the beach there is much to be seen!
In the words of John James Audubon...
"The flight of the Black Skimmer is perhaps more elegant than that of any water bird with which I am acquainted.... But, to observe the aerial movements of the Skimmer to the best advantage, you must visit its haunts in the love season."
And, folks, love is in the air!
And for those Skimmers who have already found a partner the waiting game has begun as they rest and guard their nests.
Our common terns are sitting on their eggs just out of our view. But any disturbance on the beach (person, dog, ghost crab, crow,etc.) causes them to react.
"...for they have seen you, and by now they all fly up screaming. Although unable to drive you away, they seem most anxiously to urge your departure by every entreaty they they can devise; just as you would do, were your family endangered ..... Humanity fills your heart, you feel for them as a parent feels..." (John James Audubon)
While we wait for the common tern chicks to appear it is fun watching them at the shoreline cleaning their feathers. Every day the terns adjust them, stretching and pulling at those that have become worn out.
But as we wait for the Black Skimmer and Common Tern eggs to hatch the American Oystercatchers continue to entertain us by bringing their chicks out to explore the beach.
Unfortunately sometimes the chicks need to avoid leftovers from a beach picnic :(
When you're at the beach the American Oystercatcher is easy to recognize.
In the words of John James Audubon ...
"bill vermillion, fading to yellow on the worn parts toward the end....
Edges of eyelids vermilion; iris yellow."
And to end this week's posting here is a photo of a brand new least tern chick taken last year. Just a hint of what's ahead for all of us visiting the nesting area!
|Photo by Marlene Eader|
"While traveling, their light but firm flight is wonderfully sustained,
and on hearing and seeing them on such occasions one is tempted
to believe them to be the happiest of the happy."
--John James Audubon on the Least Tern
|Photo by USFWS; Steve Hillebrand|