week 6: Kim helps birds in zone 1 and offers good advice
Name : Kim Meyer
Zone : 1
Date Walked : Sunday, 6/10/2012
# Grocery Bags : 3
Lots of baggies and wipe cloths were on the beach today in zone 1. I found 3 plastic bags (grocery & garbage bags); 4 plastic bottles; 5 beer cans; miscellaneous children's plastic toys; and the bottom half of a beach umbrella. There were huge piles of reeds that had washed up all over the beach especially around the condos. Lots of red plastic tape was intertwined in the reeds.
While walking towards Shell Island I heard two birds peeping like crazy as I approached. I realized that they were the ones I usually saw in the bird sanctuary at the north end although I wasn't sure of their specific name when I saw them. The birds turned out to be oystercatchers. Oystercatchers have a brilliant orange/red bill that helps to distinguish them. At this point I was quite a distance south of the sanctuary. I was at the last set of condos where the houses begin before you get to Shell Island.
Walking back from Shell Island I saw one of the birds fly off very low towards the sanctuary leaving the other sitting on a pile of the reeds. As I came close the bird began walking toward the south end peeping wildly again. As I got closer it turned toward me. I realized it was trying to lure me away from where it had been sitting meaning a chick was probably in the reeds. I watched for awhile from a distance. I did see a grey 'chick' or what I presumed to be a chick in the reeds where the bird had been. When I got home I phoned Lindsay from the Audubon has Nancy had instructed us to do.
Lindsay told me based on my description that it was an oystercatcher and it was one that was nesting in the sanctuary. I haven't heard back yet to see if they found the chick and were able to relocate it safely or not. My fear was that the trash truck would drive up and accidently run over the chick because it was up on the beach a bit and not in the sanctuary. For now on, I will keep Lindsay's number in my cell phone so I don't have to wait until I get home to call.
So just a warning to anyone else walking in Zone 1 (or really anywhere), the birds that normally are in the sanctuary may be nesting in other areas on the beach. So keep a look out for them and try to determine if they have a chick in jeopardy.