I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, September 12, 2011

Birds of September

Shorebirds update...and a film! How fun.

A couple days of wind and beach overwash have sent many of my October departing birds off early.

Most of the terns (least, Arctic) have already gone. Yay.  Only a few strays...not even sure what these big guys are, Common terns? Not usual to my beach anyway.

I spent some time looking these big fellows up. I belive they are Royal terns! Certainly not part of our usual petite and angry tern population. {Least terns and Arctic terns are quite small, in comparison). The guys were very shy! Note that they are as big or bigger than the gulls calmly roosting behind them!

The nesting huge flocks of terns are usually the first big groups to  leave, in late September. The black skimmers [below] usually leave in three groups, one set leaves late September with the terns, another soon afterwards. These two flocks and the terns regrouped for just a day or so after Irene, then they were gone by September first.

The final third of the black skimmers, I believe the ones who had late second sets of babies, leave on October 2nd. Their beach is under water, flooded from H. Katia waves,

...but they are massed on the point beyond. Perhaps waiting for their young to be able to make the long journey south? They're the black specks below the surfline,

Still little piping plovers running below the dunes. They are busy eating and fueling themselves for their migration. Then there are bands of mixed peeps, or sandpipers...

Mostly huge flocks of sanderlings have returned from their Arctic nesting grounds.

They tend to stay all winter, to them this is south enough. Here is the eastern flock on their own share of that overwash area.

The gulls are here but not in huge masses. I had to stop feeding them! So naughty! Everytime I'd go for a wlk, they'd descend on my beachbag and hurl all the contents aside, rooting about til they found the Goldfish or Ritz crackers or the day-old bread I'd brought them. Then they'd stand and glare at me! LOL.
I see geese and ducks in Vs overhead almost daily...

Blackbirds on the standing flood waters in the swales, and crows. And in the flood puddles, I see tadpoles as I wade out to the beach. I wonder what they are, our spadefoot toads? And can they grow up and be big enough to hibernate in the dunes this winter? We'll see!

And now, the film! Be sure to watch, very cool. Look at those waves, awesome.



gone to the beach...