Sunday, July 24, 2011

Beach survey July 23 2011

The smell hit me before I even saw the beach. When I got to the beach, I saw what the troubling smell was. It was millions of dwarf surf clam. Last Friday and Saturday we had lots of rain. There was five and half inches at my house. These clams are indicator in changes in their environment. Was a rush of fresh water what killed them off? I will see if Donna, Georgia or Richard can help answer the question. Stay tuned. Can you see where I stepped into the shells.
This is a view down the beach there were dwarf surf clams as far as I could see.
My mission on Saturday was twofold. One was to check on the Wilson’s Plovers nesting and the second one was to check for live and death birds on this portion of Jekyll’s beach. It was low tide and I found no dead birds. It was hard enough to find live ones near enough to identify. At low tide the birds are way out sitting on exposed sandbars. Mostly Laughing Gulls and one lone Ring-billed Gull were loafing at the edge of the surf. Oops, there were three Western Willets. With all the rain and a high tide there was a good bit of wash over in the dunes. I could not find any sign of the Wilson’s Plovers so I don’t know their fate. Are they in the dunes? There was no sign of the nest. I will keep looking.
There were also a lot of whelks exposed. I watch a group gathering some up. I didn’t go down to be nosey. But I did wonder if someone had whelk stew?
I also encountered Barn Swallows, one Northern Rough-winged Swallow and one male hummingbird. The hummingbird was flying straight and fast. It did not look right or left. It was making a beeline south right out over the sound. Migration has begun.


rebecca said...

Holy crap!

Hallie said...

Wow. Please keep us posted on the birds...

Lydia said...

I will keep looking thanks