Thursday, June 30, 2011
Short video of the family of 2 adults and 2 chicks (probably the group from exclosure #1) at Cedar Beach on a beautiful (75 degrees, sunny) 30 June 11 at Cedar Beach (Milford Pt spit) when many people were enjoying the beach while oblivious to the Piping Plovers. Much beach grooming activity, esp with use of large machine, getting rid of much wrack debris prized by birds. The chicks must be around 4 weeks old. Nearby was the family of 2 adults and 4 chicks--they've always been at the water's edge or near to it, and always near the beached rowboat. Injured Sanderling (bad leg), looking bad, in same location, but no other shorebirds around right now. One of the two pairs of American Oystercatchers whose nests were washed out has apparently started a new nest on the western extension of the Francis Street spit. Today at least 100 Common Terns (with a few Roseates possibly mixed in) were on nearby sandbars, and two Least Terns were on the spit. One final note: Julie Victoria announced her retirement in a message to Piping Plover volunteers today. We wish her well and hope for someone similarly devoted to the PPs to take her place.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Below, another video of chicks and mom on 6/27. Above a photo of same 2 chicks and mother under a resin chair. Next, photos showing incubating adult and her new nest around 51 E Broadway--probably renesting pair whose first nest was washed out.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
According to lifeguard reports, 3 chicks were first observed on 25 June 11. Monitors could not find them today on a very crowded beach, but here they are around 7:30 PM when most people have left the beach. The family of 2 chicks and 2 adults was back within the symbolic stringing next to the lifeguard stand, but they were foraging all over, esp at the water's edge and the wrack straw.
Here's a brief video of the chicks taking shelter under an adult around 7:30 PM (sun to set around 8:30); also. a video of an adult and a chick as the chick forages.
Sunday, 26 June 11, found 2 chicks with 2 adult from the nest in front of 827 East Broadway, Milford CT. Person at the house claimed to have seen four chicks on the night of the 25th but probably he's mistaken because he thought 2 of the chicks were very large (most likely the adults). Here's a short video of the foursome under and around a white resin chair on the beach--notice parental piping. Chicks seem about 2 days old at most.
Above, a photo of one part of Laurel Beach, last year the site of a PP nest, this year site of partying. And, as a bonus, a photo of the abundant but beautiful Cabbage White.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Video shows three of the four chicks from the first Cedar Beach exclosure nest on 19 June 2011. Since hatching, these chicks often feed at the water's edge. The second video shows 2 White-rumped Sandpipers and 1 Semipalmated SP the same day--a day when quite a few Horseshoe Crabs were laying eggs. Notice WRSP scratching bill--same behavior as video of 6/16.
On a sunny, warm Sunday when many horseshoe crabs were around and people were out in force, the Piping Plover families were in evidence. First, a video showing 3 of the group of 4 chicks. These chicks are smaller because born after the family of 2 chicks (which were born in exclosure #1). Also present, a pair of breeding (alternate) plumaged White-rumped Sandpipers, one of which keeps scratching its bill.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Storms on 9 June and subsequent rain and high tides have washed out at least 4 nests of 4 eggs each on the Milford Pt spit and adjacent Cedar Beach. But today on my usual monitoring rounds I found one adult tending 4 chicks and another tending 2 chicks. Also, at least 8 more adults look to be thinking of renesting. One video shows a male performing symbolic scraping; the other video shows one of the two-chick group with an adult piping to it. Other adults were courting and chasing, but I did not witness any copulation. If these Piping Plover do renest they will be around until the last two weeks of August.
At Milford Point today, while monitoring the Piping Plovers and the American Oystercatchers, observed a decent sampling of shorebirds, including Semipalmated Plovers, Semipalmated Sandpipers, and Black-bellied Plover. Below, images (including a brief video of the White-rumped SP) of two rather out of season species, a Sanderling and a White-rumped Sandpiper (one of a tight-knit trio). The Sanderling has a swelling at the top of his right leg--probably the reason he's around here.