Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May marsh visit

I visited the marsh on May 7 - I hadn't been for more than a year, and was very curious.  May had always been a good time to be here: Horseshoes and birds were legion, the spartina was profuse, everything was having babies and eating each other, tides were extreme, the weather was ideal. In fact, the May of 2011 was probably the most exciting month I ever spent in the marsh. Not this time, except for the weather part. Amazing what a difference five days can make.

Tony tells me the herons and willets have since returned. He also reports a highly-anticipated osprey-on-the-platform sighting. We're all waiting for the day a young osprey couple starts up a family here.

Upon composing this before-and-after, I realized that much has changed on the marsh horizon since we started this project five years ago, thanks to Hurricane Sandy and the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere:

A few notable observations: the marsh's eastern boundary is now covered in grass where it was once covered in very uninviting black algae and unidentifiable slime:

And near the main channel, many small sprouts appeared. No doubt they're easier to ID now, but any help from the botany experts here would be much appreciated:

After our brief visit we joined Tony in setting up five exclosures for piping plovers. Here's wishing them a productive, disturbance-free season.

High of 69, 4.4 high tide @ 3:05 PM.
Water level unrecorded.
Birds seen in marsh: red winged blackbird
Birds seen in bay: black brant, Canadian geese, oystercatcher


  1. What an absolutely beautiful post, Shervin. It's helpful to remind us how much progress we've all made cleaning up this important ecosystem. And it was wonderful to see you!

  2. Agreed about the pics...actually seeing the differences over the years is truly an eye-opener.