Monday, July 5, 2010

Adventures With Paul, Part Two: Breezy Point

We went over to Breezy Point, and this time traffic was easy breezy.  We parked and then started walking.  And walking.  In the sand.

Then, we walked for a while more.

I think on the way we saw a few things, a killdeer flew over, a few catbirds, whatever.

Then we kept walking, and walking some more.

Finally we got to the beach!  There is an area by the dunes that is roped off for piping plovers, so we started looking for them.  First we spotted a couple of oystercatchers, sitting in the sand all tucked in.

As Paul was explaining how hard it was to spot the piping plovers, Jack spotted this one!

We watched it for a while (it was hard to follow) and then Paul spotted this chick! So cute!!!!  :-)

We saw a couple of oystercatchers farther up, and it looked to me like they had a plover with them, and they were guarding it.  Paul pointed out that each oystercatcher had a chick.  Hahahaha, that does make much more sense!

Then we walked down the beach towards the colonies, passing several gulls of various type.  The terns were fishing and a fishing boat was following them looking for fish, that was really cool to see.  Paul warned us that at the colony if we got close to a nest (which is hard not to do, some are right by the path) the terns would warn us off, and we should just be calm.  As he was explaining this, we were watching someone who was not at all calm.  He was in fact spinning around and waving a beach towel over his head, with terns warning him away from all sides.  He looked like he had no idea what was going on, and he finally came towards us, looking like he had just had a harrowing experience.  Hahahaha, it was awesome!

Anyway, right off the bat I saw what I was hoping for - a tern feeding its chick!  In this shot, the tern is bringing a tasty morsel for its chick.

The chick is ready for the fish!  And so is that other tern to their left, who has noticed the incident.

The chick takes the fish, and the other tern indicates a keen desire to share.

I don't think so!

The tern chicks did some posing for me.  They don't seem very afraid of humans.  The parents are a little afraid though.  A tern left this nest when we got closeby, so we got a glimpse of the eggs.  I got warned several times by the terns.

There were also skimmers nesting there, a group beyond the terns and a group on the other side of the path.  Check out this guy's beak!  So crazy looking, and actually quite different from what I was expecting.

This skimmer (who looks pretty badly injured in the eye area) showed us its eggs briefly.

And here's a skimmer with its chick!  :-)

Here's a picture of my favorite thing of the day.  I guess we hung around this skimmer's nest for too long.  It went a little ways from its nest and started flailing about on the sand.  It looked like it was faking an injury to lure us away from the nest!  It was incredible, the behavior looked ~just~ like what the bird did on the David Attenborough video.

Just before we left three chicks posed in gorgeous light for us.  Thanks little chickies!

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