The wild ponies are coming next, I promise. But first a few more shots of the semipalmated plover I spotted at Assateauge Island National Seashore.
Semipalmated plovers are fairly common sightings up and down the coast, including New England, but I got a good look at this bird as it hunted the shoreline of a marsh at Assateague Island National Seashore. I even caught him pulling a worm of some sort out of the mud.
An important press release from American Bird Conservancy
Washington, D.C. — As millions of vacationing Americans head to their nearest beach destination for surf and sun this summer, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is urging beachgoers to be mindful of the many beach-nesting birds that will be tending to their nests and newly hatched young.
“Young birds have a tough go of things during their early days, so they really need our help. They face being trampled by unaware beachgoers, run over by motorized vehicles, or killed by predators. Even people simply getting too close can cause nest abandonment,” said Kacy Ray, Gulf Conservation Program Manager for ABC’s Gulf Beach-Nesting Bird Conservation Program.
“The best thing for beachgoers to do is to avoid getting close to areas where larger congregations of birds are gathered, and to always respect areas that are roped off or marked with signs designating an area that is used by nesting birds,” said Ray. “The habitat for these birds is diminishing every year Continue reading
The day after photographing a Killdeer walking along the snow-covered ground of Spring Grove Cemetery in Darien, Conn., I returned to the same spot to see what other birds might be around.
I watched a few Wood Ducks and Ring-necked Ducks in the small pond, but they stayed out of photographic range. It was good to see them anyway, of course.
Then I spotted a Killdeer somewhat near the pond’s edge. What the heck, I thought, may as well take some photographs. I grabbed a few shots and almost started to drive away until I noticed another Killdeer not far away. I almost drove away again as the new Killdeer was not adding any new photographic opportunities. I was happy to see it, don’t get me wrong, but I was ready to move on with me day.
I put the camera back on front seat and reached for the gear shift when I heard a long and consistent “piping.” What are they up to, I thought. Instinctually I got the camera ready again and, sure enough, the male climbed on top of the female and did what comes naturally in the natural world. The continuation of the species … it’s a beautiful thing.
One of the drawbacks to being an early northward migrant is that they are subject to the whims of the early spring New England weather. Will it be hot, cold, just right? Raining, snowing? The birds that show up in March are subjected to it all. But they’ve been doing it for generations, so for the most part, they can handle whatever is thrown at them.
Killdeer are one of these early migrants. They mate and nest earlier than most birds, too. So a little snow is no big deal for these “shorebirds.” The snow does make for nice photos, though.
Here’s my next photo in the series of 2014 photos that I never got around to looking at and posting.
As we are now stuck in this deep freeze here in New England, here’s a warm-weather shot for you. It’s a Least Tern on the beach at Connecticut Audubon Coastal Center at Milford Point. Last week I posted a Piping Plover that I saw during my volunteering to monitor plovers and terns on the Connecticut shoreline. Well, here’s the other half: the terns. The plovers come in much earlier in the spring than the terns. Least Terns are handsome birds with yellow bills, compared the red or orange bills of most terns. Least Terns, as their name suggests, are also smaller than most terns. They can also be quite aggressive on their nesting areas (who can blame them?) and they will continually dive-bomb intruders. Yes, that includes innocent shorebird monitors just trying to help them out.
Piping Plovers and Least Terns are threatened species in Connecticut.
Here’s my next photo in the series of 2014 photos that I never got around to looking at and posting. I ran a similar photo in April, but here’s another look at a Piping Plover _ an endangered bird in New England _ preening at Audubon Coastal Connecticut Center at Milford Point. The photo was taken in April 2014.