Bird’s Eye View

On a clear day, you can see forever

Swan Attack!

Think NJ boardwalks, and what do you get? – rides; minigolf,  Kohrs orange and vanilla softserve and a very “un”Fun house (according to our grandson). But how about swans?  I didn’t think so.

But recently, down in Pt Pleasant, we were driving past the lake on the otherside of the boardwalk’s main parking lot when I spied two sets of cygnets on the shore with two magnificent white swans.   Mike pulled our white 4 door around to get a better look just as I was remembering being chased by a swan in a canoe on Long Island once and pointing out the swans can be fierce.

Well,  Mr. Great Swan himself was not at all pleased with the new white beast in the neighborhood and headed straight for our grille.   Mike started to pull back but stopped since I was shouting that I couldn’t see the bird – but he was there, attacking our right front tire, then pecking the door, then …me!  But with the window was closed, I only caught the glare in his eye.

Somehow, Mike managed to back the car up and out of the way with no harm done to bird or vehicle.  Swan seemed extremely proud, stretching his wings, flicking his tail and stomping back to his brood on his immense webbed feet, having conquered the big foreign white intruder.  Boy, was I glad for the car window.   And those baby swans were adorable.

Beach babies and standing out in a crowd…

Last week was “immature”  week on the beach – a immature common tern begging from a parent; the least of the least terns – I’d call them teeny terns – running along the beach and trying out their wings.  And then, was that a single piping plover?  I hope so, it would be the first for the year.

Always big flocks.   And in amongst the largest flocks of birds you see all the time;  there are those birds that defy “birds of a feather”.   Like two giants hiding out in a whole flock of common terns; two giants, both of whom were having bad scary hair days: two Royal terns.    Or the ruddy turnstone running with the sanderlings.

Or the flip of that …. usually I’ve seen one or two semi-palmated plovers in between all those sanderlings, but last week, just the reverse.

And finally, what could that flock be of smaller than sanderlings, but looking like sanderlings, but really really small???

Worth going to the dentist

On the way home over seven bridges – an osprey nest platform, an osprey and 4 fledglings!

Jingle Shells and Mermaids’ Toenails

7 am along Seabright beach and it’s clear, cool, and clean on Sunday morning.

Passed two sleepers camped out on the beach as we started out, as well as a young couple embracing in their very own world.  But then we were among friends – fishermen and black back gulls.

It was crab day on the beach – the black backs were feasting on all sorts of spider crab parts.  I got to see my first live spider crab who was burying as far and as fast as he (she?) could in the sand.   I would have too.

I’m always amazed at what different treasures you find on this beach compared to beaches near Pt Pleasant just 40 minutes south of here.  Near Point Pleasant,  you find whole big clam shells and moon snails and mussels; and occasionally, if you’re lucky, periwinkles and starfish.  Seabright beach offers large beautiful rocks and these golden and white and black translucent shells I just discovered are called jingle shells (or mermaids toenails).

Lots of mermaids must have had pedicures on Saturday evening while those campers slept on the beach.

Stopping to watch a flock of terns fish before we turned around, we were suddenly surrounded by a blizzard of frenzy as the terns plunged in front of waves breaking close to the shore.   The geometric flash of their wings was dizzying and for another first time, I saw a wave actually crest over a tern only to have the tern pop up, right out of the top of the wave’s crest.  Wave 0, tern 1.  And a good time to turn around.

Fall’s on its way, peeps are back

Ah,  Fall is on its way.  Migration has begun.   Sanderlings back in full force along the waterline today on Seabright Beach.

Skimmer sighting along Seabright shore.

The five Oyster Catchers which have been on the beach since late June seem to have departed.   But we caught a glimpse of a Skimmer in flight today.