Daily Observations

View from Totem Park

After dropping Connor off at school this morning and making a quick stop by Swan Lake, I probably would have spent the rest of the day inside except Connor really wanted to go down to the park to see if the Ruddy Turnstone was still there. So he and I walked down to the end of the park and back. I guess it won’t be too much longer that we will have the daylight to do that after school.

Weather: Heavy overcast with lots of rain through the day, though it did stop raining for awhile later this afternoon. It never really got very bright today, so the clouds must have been quite thick.

Birds: The Greater White-fronted Geese and lone Green-winged Teal were both still at Swan Lake. I did not see anything else other than the usual assortment of Mallards and domestics, but I did not stay long.

At the park Connor was not disappointed for birds. We saw something like 40 Black Turnstones (the largest group resting off the battlesite), a Semipalmated Plover (which Connor recognized when it landed by him), the Ruddy Turnstone, several hundred gulls, Mallards, two American Pipits, and a Canada Goose (possibly a Cackling Goose; it was never near any other birds, but it seemed medium to large in size).

Other birds I noticed at the park included, 4 Green-winged Teal, 9 Harlequin Ducks (offshore a little bit), and a Common Merganser. I didn’t think about it until today, but I’ve not been seeing Common Mergansers lately. Perhaps they have moved out of the park due to the influx of gulls.

One of the gulls I saw was a little strange. It had a slightly darker mantle, dark eyes, and black wing-tips. It didn’t look quite like a Thayer’s Gull to me, but I suppose it might have been.

It was interesting to see the ducks out at the end of the park rather than in the estuary and river mouth. I don’t remember seeing them out on the beach for quite some time. There were many ducks that flew over while we were walking, and I am guessing they came from the park. When we got around to the estuary, the mystery was solved. There were three men fishing not far from where the ducks usually hang out.

I don’t think I have mentioned it, but lately there have been Starlings feeding on the beach, mostly out at the end of the park. I didn’t see any feeding today, but there was a flock that flew by over the water while we were still on the western shore.

There was a Winter Wren singing (but that might have been yesterday, I can’t remember for sure). It was not at full strength and it only sang its song once.

Other Notes: The seaweed is piled up as high as I remember ever seeing it. I guess I have not gone down to the park so much this time of year before.

It is interesting to see that the Cleavers have pretty much all died back, though the Beach Greens are still looking quite healthy and robust. Goosetongue has also largely died back, though not so completely as the cleavers.

I think there are a couple of tomato plants growing on the beach. They are not close together at all, but both have flower buds on them. If I’m right, I don’t think they will make it much longer. If the colder temperatures don’t get them, the coming Fall high tides will. Still, it’s a bit strange to see them. I’m not even positive they are tomatoes, but they kind of have that tomato plant smell (though not as strong as when my dad used to grow them in the greenhouse) and the flower buds look like a tomato. It seems weird that two different plants would come up in the cobbles at the park, and not even close enough to think they would have been from the same dropped tomato, or something.

Tomato Plant? Tomato Plant?
The photo on the right was taken last week, the one on the left at the start of September. I think they might be tomato plants, but I am not sure.

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