The Plover Blog

Saturday, May 11, 2019

'As of yesterday, we have 29 pairs and five single plovers- totaling 63 adults! Birds are certainly settling down now, but they are also still popping up in new locations.
There are also nine active nests on the beach! Five of the nine nests have four eggs, and are being fully incubated.
Soon enough, least terns should also be settling down on the refuge beach!'
Written by Allie, a Refuge staff member.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

'This week we had a total of 63 piping plovers (30 pairs, 3 singles). Our first nest was found on Wednesday with one egg! As of Friday 5/3, the nest has 2 eggs.

Overall, birds are settling and there is still a lot of scraping activity. On the other hand, we also have birds that are still passing through.'

Written by Allie, a Refuge staff member.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

'This week, 18 pairs and 4 single plovers were observed on the refuge beach, totaling 40 adults! Unlike previous surveys, no larger (likely migratory) groups were seen this week; plovers were only observed as pairs or single.
Once again, a lot of scraping activity was noted. I checked on scrapes found last week, but a number of them were washed out. Fortunately, the plovers have been busy creating new scrapes to try out! While no eggs were found, birds are still actively maintaining territories, courting, and are weary of intruders.
Most territories did have coyote tracks going through them. Thankfully, no trespassers or human prints were detected on the beach during this survey.'

Written by Allie, a Refuge staff member.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

'On the April 17th plover survey, 22 pairs were observed, along with a lot of nesting activity! 10 lone plovers were also observed this past week. In total, 54 adult Piping Plovers were counted.
Despite the falling tide and abundance of foraging area, a lot of birds were sticking close to the wrack line, or, if they were closer to the shoreline, would walk back towards the dune relatively quickly. Several males were also seen establishing territory lines. This behavior is indicative of the plovers becoming weary of intruders and more attached to their potential nesting territories.
For almost every pair, one (or several) scrapes were found. Several birds were seen testing out their scrapes. One pair was even seen courting and copulating! Needless to say, our plover tech is excited for next week's survey.'
Written by Allie, a Refuge staff member.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

'On Thursday, 45 adult Piping Plovers were detected on the refuge beach! Birds were observed at a lot of the same locations as last week. Additionally, where lone adults were seen last week, pairs were present this week. In total, there were nine distinctive pairs observed.

While there are more pairs being seen, in consistent locations, it's very likely birds are still migrating north. In addition to the nine observed pairs, larger flocks of piping plovers were observed in groups of four, five, six, and ten individuals! Only two individuals were solo (not among a pair or large group).

This survey was conducted at low tide; therefore, all birds observed
were taking advantage of the wide beach and foraging along the
shoreline. Furthermore, heavier sets of tracks were being detected
between the shoreline and the dunes. Because of this, next week I'll
start looking for scrapes and keying in on territorial behavior.

Aside from piping plovers, a large mixed flock of shorebirds was
foraging and cleaning themselves at the shoreline in front of Lot 7.
This flock consisted primarily of semipalmated sandpipers and
sanderlings, totaling over 200 individuals.'