Today we were out on the beach before sunrise. It was our 8th turtle walk of the season.
As soon as we walked out onto the beach, I could feel a strong breeze. I was thankful for that, as it kept the noseeums away and made our walk a very pleasant one.
First thing I noticed was the Snowy Plover nesting areas were enclosed and ribboned off again. I guess it's time for more nests. There were so many little Plovers running around today, the last group of hatchlings must still be here too. They kept me entertained through at least a 1/2 mile of the walk.
One little Plover standing guard, over the nesting area.
Holes, holes and more holes! This one was about 18" deep.
Every week, we have this kind of turtle activity. :)
The pastel sky, just before sunrise was very pretty today.
I know you can see the log of driftwood. Do you see the other log, the one I had to pick up?
I have a few pics for your cyber shelling pleasure, but it wasn't great this morning.
Two ladies were busy tromping through the dunes, looking for shells. I guess they haven't read beach rules. We aren't supposed to walk in the dune area. I hope there aren't any tiny plover eggs anywhere, that hadn't been found and marked, or they'll be smashed for sure. :(
If you see any special shells in these pictures, please don't tell me, because when I'm walking the the end of our zone, I don't look. Walking the return mile, I look.
If you enlarge the picture, you may spot the little baby plover that saw us coming and hid in a little cupped out place in the sand. It's parents were running all around trying to get our attention to keep us from seeing it too. It stayed right in that spot, with it's head down until we passed. At first I thought it was a dead one, because we were so close and it didn't move. But when Mommy came over it jumped up an ran off with her. I bet he was in trouble!
We weren't this close; just did a close up shot. All of it's feathers aren't even grown yet.
This was a cute mermaid when we passed, but on the way back, she didn't look so good. Someone had stomped in her face. :(
These two White Ibis, seemed to be acting a little strange. They were walking around in the sand, not appearing to be hunting for food, and not going by the water. Their appearance was also different because they both looked kind of dirty. No, it didn't look like oil on their feathers. But, I had to wonder if they could have had a little oil on their feathers, cleaned up and released. Maybe they just got dirty hanging out in a marsh. I thought they were just juvenille ones at first because their feathers are a little different color, but that wasn't it. Just another mystery. Oooh, did you know or care, that the American White Ibis was chosen as the mascot of The University of Miami because of its legendary bravery during hurricanes? :)
This lady was sitting cross legged in the sand, as I passed on my first mile. She was still in the same spot, when I passed on the way back. I think she was breathing in and out with the waves rise and fall, preparing to meditate. Or, could she be a bird whisperer?
I think this is a Grass cerith.
This is turtle #2 today.
There were a few chunks of Sea Pork on the beach this morning. I've been told that Sea Pork can be found in a lot of different colors. It's the first time I've seen it in a bright yellow color.
A little Scallop and a tiny Juvenille Horse Conch.
An Orange Scallop? :)
Another piece of Sea Pork. There was also a black one, which has been confused for globs of oil recently. We were told that it's easy to tell the difference. The black Sea Pork is smooth, firm and flexible like rubber. If you look closely, you can see the individual organisms make up this one piece, they're really interesting. The tar balls, that have been seen in the spill area, were black, very dense in weight, and felt sticky. So the moral to the story; if you see a black blob on the beach, don't get all excited. Look it over carefully and if you really have reason for concern, report it to local officials so they can check it out.
Can you spot the little Plover that thinks he's hiding right next to me. I walked on past and it continued on it's merry way.
We had two bags full of trash, but still no sea turtle, nesting activity in our zone. The beach and water is still clean and clear and I hope it stays that way.