|Happy 4th of July!|
island's parade this year. And if you don't want to get wet, it's not the place to be. It's a water fight to end all water fights. And the colder the water, the better. The only suggestion for the parade is they'd like you to leave the water balloons at home. They can be very painful! And the parade route is going to have to be a little longer. The first floats were finished, and half of them hadn't even started yet!
|100 floats strong!|
|Get ready to get soaked!|
|A "Least Tern" and her chick|
This year, my friend from the society, called and said they were looking for someone to kayak over to Goose Island ( I have no idea how it got it's name), around the holidays, and check on the nests that are there. Goose Island is right across a channel in the bay, from the state park on St. George Island. I was happy to volunteer for such a job.
|A "Ruddy Turnstone" The scavenger!|
|High tide can wipe out an entire nesting colony.|
Having been told what to look for, and seeing pictures of the birds that were nesting, made the job a lot easier for me. With this information, I could tell which birds were nesting, and which ones were hanging around, trying to scavenge the eggs
|A "banded" plover|
The other bird to look for was the Least Tern. It's a small tern with a yellow beak that likes to feed on minnows and other marine or freshwater organisms. Unlike the oystercatcher, they nest in colonies. Because of this, entire colonies can be wiped out by extremely high tides. But there were a lot of chicks thriving on the big part of the island.
It's exciting to discover the newly hatched chicks. And it's fun going back to watch their progress, and waiting for new ones. And as an added bonus, there are 3 Osprey nests on Goose Island that are grouped together and the chicks have yet to hatch.
Since many of the birds winter here, and there is a widespread decline in the shorebird population, it's important that the same guidelines used from March through August, are applied for September through January, the non-nesting months. Every time they're disturbed, from eating, or resting, they useing energy needed for their survival. So, fortunately, this is a volunteer job, that can last all year.
|Three "Heron" nests|