Daily Observations

Beach Greens

Another day spent mostly inside working to get caught up for the end of the semester. I did make it out on a walk to the park around noon time.

Weather: Early this morning it was raining, but by mid-morning the rain had stopped. By the time I started out on my walk a little before noon, the gravel had already started to dry. At the park, there was a breeze out of the southeast. Skies remained overcast through the afternoon and evening, though there was a brief break in the clouds where the sun was able to shine through in the late afternoon.

Birds: The tide was in while I was down at the park. I saw cormorants, Buffleheads, and gulls offshore and a number of gulls flying this way and that. I did not see any shorebirds.

There were gulls attracted to sealion activity (see below).

I saw a Bald Eagle chasing a gull. At first they were so far off, I thought it was a couple of gulls (one smaller and the other larger), but later I realized it was an eagle swooping down at the gull. I first noticed them out toward Jamestown Bay and they flew north over Crescent Bay. I saw a second eagle head toward them from the park (undoubtedly to steal the prize if a catch was made), but the gull managed to avoid capture.

On my way back home, I walked along Lincoln Street. I heard a high pitched call that I did not recognize in the trees between Lincoln Street and Sage Beach. I had a difficult time locating the call, but I did see a robin perched in a tree sitting very still. I finally realized it was the robin making the call. It seemed to be sitting more stiff/still than usual, but I could not figure out why. After watching it for a few moments, I crossed the street to take a shortcut home. It flew off shortly after I crossed the street (perhaps it had been concerned about me?).

I spent a few minutes sitting by the spruce tree. A winter wren was singing at the edge of the forest to the Southeast of where I sat. It sang its song quite a few times with only brief breaks before stopping. A little while after it stopped, I saw it flitting about in the brush across the little clearing from me. It did that for a little bit before finding another perch to sing from. I noticed that it has at least two volumes, full and quieter. The song seems the similar (perhaps the same), but the volume difference can be very distinct. After it got done singing the second batch of songs, it started flitting about in the bushes again where it disappeared from my sight. A short time after that, I spotted the neighbor’s black cat coming up the trail. It left the trail and passed out of my sight toward where I had seen the Winter Wren go. The wren was still there, and a few moments after I lost sight of the cat, I saw the bird come back into view chittering at the cat. It did not seem overly concerned, as it made the chittering calls for a short time before it started singing again (though now mostly at a quieter volume).

Flora: Many plants are coming up, but still not too many flowers are out. There are fern fiddleheads, beach greens, giant vetch, silverweed, and some other plants I did not recognize at this stage of growth.

The beach greens (pictured above) were growing out of long roots/runners that had been exposed by the winter’s high tides. At least that is what I think they were. Whatever they were, they were still well anchored in the rocks.

The sap on the spruce tree filling the holes from the sapsuckers is starting to get cloudy.

Other Notes: There were multiple sealions off the west beach of the park while I was there. It was difficult to tell how many, but it was at least two and perhaps as many as four. They seemed to be rolling about on the surface. It was not clear to me whether they were eating, playing, or doing something else. A couple of gulls did fly over to check it out, however. At least once I saw a gull dive in like it saw something to eat.

I saw a dead fish on the shore. It looked kind of like the shiner perch that are in the harbor, but I’m not sure that’s what it was.

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