Despite the driving rain and 35 degree temperatures today, the 2018 Plover crew ventured out to the beaches. This year, Heidi Franklin (above, left) is joining Sam Albright, Zac Fait (center, right), and me as Maine Audubon’s Coastal Birds Project biologist team.
Already, plovers have been seen on beaches from Ogunquit to Popham. They are scraping — or making practice nests — on many beaches. We could potentially see a scrape become a nest (when an egg is laid) by the end of the week, although given this cold April I think we will start seeing eggs next week.
We had seen five birds and many scrapes at Western Beach last Thursday (April 12), along with many dog tracks in an area where dogs are not permitted in April. In spite of the weather, we returned today with the full crew to start putting up some fencing. Conditions did not permit surveying for birds at Western (it’s really hard to see when your glasses and binoculars are fogged up and immediately covered in raindrops). We popped in to see conditions at Higgins and were immediately greeted by a hardy plover foraging in the wrack (seaweed) line.
More updates to come soon!