Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Beach Nester Paradise
[American Oystercatcher chick and parent, Cape May Point State Park tonight. Digiscoped by Don Freiday, click to enlarge.]
The beach off Cape May Point State Park and the meadows is currently a paradise of beach nesting birds. Besides this American Oystercatcher chick and parent, there are Piping Plovers at every turn, including chicks, and dozens of Least Terns on nests. I watched a Common Tern pair take turns making a scrape, and saw others courtship feeding. The group of Black Skimmers in the colony area was only loafing while I watched, but who knows? Then you have the occasional Sandwich, Black and Roseate Tern sightings, Royal Terns now and then, piles of Common and Forster's Terns nesting elsewhere but trading back and forth to the rips, just a marvelous summer spectacle.
I had a chat with our boat captain the other night, and he was telling of the old tradition, which he partook in when a child, of going to the beach when nesting got under way to collect bucketfuls of eggs for omelets. Boy, they were good, he said. . . a simpler time, but one that had to pass, and did. Here's hoping against storm tides and predators this year at Cape May Point.