Friday, July 29, 2016
Sunday, July 17, 2016
With the heat index often hovering over 100 degrees, the birds and chicks have been seeking shade in the plants and condos. Many Black Skimmer adults are by the water’s edge trying to cool off and switching places with their mate on the sand.
LEAST TERNS…. Many of the Least Terns have left the area already because they did get an earlier start nesting than last year. You may recall that we had a tropical storm last year that resulted in our Least Tern colony re-nesting and in the Least Terns leaving more toward the end of July. We still have a few cute Least Tern chicks to show beachgoers and to photograph and additional birds incubating eggs. Look for the chicks by the “beach condos” and you will see a parent bird close by!
COMMON TERNS…We are seeing fledglings at the water and hiding in plants. Several pairs appear to be incubating eggs.
BLACK SKIMMERS … We are seeing a few fledglings at the water with the big boys. I keep waiting for the big skimmer chick parade to the water which should be happening soon. I will let you know when “Skimmer School” starts!
AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHERS … We have several oystercatchers hanging out at the colony but did not have any chicks this year. Masonboro Island is having a record year with Oystercatcher fledglings and a great article appeared in the Lumina News. Here is the link.
VISITORS… Four Black Terns were spotted on July 4th roosting in the colony. Remarkably the Black Terns visited on 4th of July weekend last year too!
A Roseate Tern also visited the colony. We had not seen one before at SWB!
Great Black Backed Gulls are still hanging out causing mayhem for our sweet chicks but it seems to be slowing down.
LOGGERHEAD SEA TURTLE NESTING… We currently have 14 loggerhead nests on Wrightsville Beach which is the highest number of nests on Wrightsville since the 90s. The record is 16 and turtles continue to nest until the end of August….we may break the record this year!
There are five sea turtle nests on Lea-Hutaff Island which is the island that AudubonNC monitors for both birds and sea turtles. Lea-Hutaff is the island between Figure 8 Island and Topsail Island.