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Bolivar Flats has been absolutely spectacular the last couple of days. Thousands of avocets and peeps — with hundreds of willets, snowys, White Pelicans and Marbled Godwits make for a nice show. There are nice numbers of other birds too, but no dowichers. I haven't seen dowichers there since Ike and wonder what food they like has disappeared. Birds are still best viewed from the North Jetty, you also might have an opportunity to see the 2 Peregrines who sit on the Coast Guard tower, a block north of the jetty, they were screeching at each other on Thursday and whenever they rearranged where they were sitting all the shorebirds would get up to.Thanks for the update, Winnie!
There were Black-bellied Plovers, Sanderlings and 14 Knots on the beach north of Rettilon Rd. This is progress as it has been a while since there were any birds feeding on the beach. The flock of scaup just off the beach has grown and may include other things but I didn't have time to scope it out.
There are now a couple of restaurants open on the Bolivar Peninsula. La Playita in Port Bolivar has reopened and there is a new restaurant Coconuts in Crystal Beach I hear that Stingaree is also open too. The Grocery Store in Crystal Beach opened last week.
Yesterday Claybottom Pond at High Island was full of birds . 130 Spoonbills, 30 Black-crowned Night Herons, Snowys, Great Egrets and several hundred White Ibis all just roosting on the north side of the pond out of the wind. We counted 35 alligators including some pretty big ones. Previously the most gators I have counted at one time was 15, but with fresh water in such a short supply I guess others have moved in.
50+ volunteers worked on the woods this weekend and it definitely getting easier to see birds on the ground. They were also removing Chinese privet and replacing it with native trees and shrubs. Wayne Nicholas and family worked on the photo blind in Boy Scout Woods, which definitely needed work. What would we do without volunteers????
We have been working at Bolivar Flats a lot lately, getting the last run on debris, (no we haven't got it all just all that we will get) getting some of the fences rebuilt and starting to rebuild the vehicular barrier. There have been very few birds on the beach and that started me thinking about why. I looked at the vehicular barrier poles that are left and it hit me "the sand is gone". Over 4 feet of sand was pushed inland and I think all the invertebrates that the birds ate were in that sand. The larva of most coastal invertebrates are mobile so I am sure they will get reestablished it will be interesting to see how long it takes. The birds are still out there but hard to see as they are WAY out there.This post was quickly followed up by some even more detailed observations from Joseph Kennedy. He not only gave a good report on what birds can currently be seen in the area, but also delved into some of the related effects from the storm on native trees, plant fertilization and the local honey bee population.
Read the rest of Winnie's report...
Winnie's observations closely agree with mine. I have been out there twice now trying to count the evidence of worm/clam availability for the birds. By coincidence, I had taken many pictures of the worm and clam mounds etc just before Ike and have a baseline. I was really unable to find enough evidence of life to take any pictures. Creature holes are far apart. Shorebirds mainly eat little things but if there are no things a little bigger there [are] probably no little things too.If you are the least bit interested in one of the most important stopovers along the Gulf Coast for migrating shorebirds, I urge you to read these two posts. They give a good overview of the current situation in the area and on the affects the hurricane damage may have for the near future.
The birds I have seen have been picking rather than probing. They are more nervous and spend much more time moving around looking for a feeding patch.
Read the rest of Joe's report...
BBC Radio has just reported that one Police Force in the UK has reported a dramatic increase in the number of reported incidents of children throwing snowballs at passing vehicles during the past 72 hours.Sometimes you just have to wonder...
The snow only arrived 72 hours ago — it would have been difficult to have made a snowball prior to the snowfall!!!
And these are the people looking after our safety?