Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 25: Marsh hotness

Although the mercury never rose above 77, marshing felt slavishly hot today. Maybe it's because I'd spent so many months marshing in this weather. Winter was long, spring lasted two days and now, it's summer. Clearing this was my task:

The heat necessitated frequent wildlife-spotting jaunts. Clockwise from upper left: spotted sandpiper, my first sighting of this species in the marsh; osprey gliding directly over the platform, carrying what looked like a respectable bluefish; black-bellied plover and sanderlings on the bayside; a least tern which hovered around the marsh sniping killifish throughout the day.

I also added a killdeer to the marsh list, and an unfortunate diamondback terrapin Malaclemys terrapin hatchling. The head and forelimbs had been eaten. This might have been the work of the resident green heron. I would have preferred to see one in life, but it's encouraging to know these salt marsh reptiles are around.

The low water also exposed swarms of what I think are juvenile killifish, the product of the mass spawning migrations over the past months.

Shamefully, the heat stifled my cleanup progress to the point of rendering an after-shot useless. After feeding the mosquitoes until sunset, I headed home.

Saturday, May 28, 2011
High of 77, average wind S @ 10 MPH, .6 low tide @ 11:18 AM. Moon 22% visible.
Low tide water level recorded at 4 inch mark; high tide at 5 inch mark.
Birds seen in marsh: mallard, dove, starling, red winged blackbird, cardinal, willet, spotted sandpiper, killdeer, green heron, osprey, common tern, least tern, oystercatcher, crow
Birds seen in bay: black brant, black-bellied plover, sanderling, merganser
Other: dead diamondback terrapin

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