Plum Island is a research area designed to help protect birds and their nesting grounds. While we were there, I spotted several people involved in research and safeguarding nest sites.
|American Redstart-finally nailed a shot of this bird! They are tricky!|
The purpose of our trip? There were a few life birds here, but overall, it was about exploration and just enjoying better observations on birds I had already seen. We had killer views of the American Redstart, Mute Swans, Bobolinks, nesting Song Sparrows and so much more.
|Nesting Song Sparrow|
I loved being around natural water areas again. It's something most people take for granted. For Arizonans, it is quite the treat.
|Least Tern flying over nest site|
This sign made me so happy. There not only was a person watching over the nesting areas, but they were roped off with signs! There have been many issues over this past year from states dealing with various endangered birds. Two Whooping Cranes were shot in Louisiana in February. A whole colony of nesting Least Terns in Florida were wiped out because several dog owners let their pooches off leashes on Disappearing Island. It's not a bad thing to take the dog out for a walk, but here's why they should NEVER be allowed off their leashes in many areas........
|Tiny and magical.....a baby Piping Plover!|
They called to their parents. And their parents called back. Then the tiny Piping Plover turned towards the parent and.....
They both hid under the wings of their parent. That touching moment really made me feel something. I'm not one to overtly say "Awww", but this little scene reminded me that I do have a heart:) The parent sat out in the middle of the beach, exposed, with the little ones clinging underneath the wings. The other parent observed from the nesting area. If they needed to escape, the parent would call from the location and lead them back into the safety zone. It was pretty cool to witness it all. With this particular plover, mother and father work as a team.
I see human kids running around on the beach nearby and I want to place a magical force field around these birds to protect them, but sadly, I do not own this technology....yet. I just have to trust that the person watching over the nesting Least Terns and Piping Plovers will warn the parents and their kids to look where they are running. I hesitantly walk away from the scene.
As the evening begins to set, we must continue our way down to Connecticut. We stop along the way to count more birds.
And I am granted a life bird. The Eastern Towhee.
Birding is as beautiful as the Mute Swan. I won't get into the invasive part:) Plum Island is a must visit spot for the nature enthusiast. Until next time....