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

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sunny Days

The fog has finally---I hope---moved on.

Today was what the weather guys like to call a Ten Best Day...72*, 20 mph wind, not a cloud in the sky and no humidity.

My shorebirds are in full autumn  behavior mode:

busy eating...

Then flying in huge wheeling masses of white/black/ white...

sanderlings take flight

The oystercatchers left promptly on October 2nd. They were there on Saturday, then all disappeared. Here today, gone tomorrow..back on St Paddy's Day. I surmise they know the date by the length of the days, or the angle of the sun, so much lower in the sky now. I'll miss them. They are my favorite birds, the pairs returning each year to their exact nesting spots, they seem like tiny friends.

 The sanderlings [above and below] arrive daily, they must number in the thousands now.

Small groups of passing through migratory shorebirds seek safety in numbers and stay briefly within the larger flocks...here are dunlins, sandpipers, plovers, and gulls...

Semi-palmated plovers...darker than the piping plovers, more sleek. Dark brow and cream white with a distinct neck ring...he is in the right crescent of this puddle, with other "peeps"...


 Larger sandpipers,below, probably spotted sandpipers in their spotless winter garb...running in rows...

 Tiny footprints in the sand, the flocks snuggle close together at night...

 A couple of fish crows?...[note the dark beak]

see his open beak, I think he is yelling for his mom! the bigger crow...


Herons gather in the marshes...Mallards and sandpipers in the flood swales...

 And in my yard, the holly and bayberry bushes are busy with tiny visitors---all kinds of warblers and kinglet. Shy and hungry, they find the berries fuel for their long journeys south. Others hungrily pursue the many mosquitoes still swarming in the grass and ion the dunes. I hope the little birds eat their fill..eat 'em all!

And then I found this interesting burrow! I wonder who lives here, the hole is about 1 1 1/4 diameter. Not a snake, I don't think my island has snakes....and see the tiny footprints within the tire tread tracks? Maybe I'd rather not know! [huge bug? small mouse?].

edit: it seems that this is a ghost crab burrow: Ghost crabs which I have never seen on my beach. They are a southern tiny crab, maybe washed north by recent storms?
A few "treasures'' on the very bare sand and tideline:
a single shard of old cobalt glass...

an abandoned car!

 Here's a tiny butterfly shell pair.This mollusk is a favored food of all the birds. The pretty colored shells are about 1/2" long....above you can it to the right of the little toy car.


Hope your October is lovely too! Tell me what it's like where you are?

PS:  pls email me if you're unable to post a message? lizzy.d@gmail.com




self portrait 5
gone to the beach!