Sunday, August 30, 2009

It's Cabbages and Kings Time

I suspect many of you are like me - Sunday night is get-ready-for-work, catch-up-with-stuff time. So let's get with it.
For you bloggers, friend David found a new toy called Screenr - if you have bloggers you follow, you can use Screenr to capture one of their posts and talk about it while scrolling through it. David is a beach blogger, so he used Screenr to "show and tell" about five of his favorite beach blogs (we were one of them :) . Follow the link below to his BlogTheBeach.
Margie sends the following news about the Skimmers: It looks as though the skimmers have abandoned the posted nesting area for good. After last weekend's high tides, which inundated parts of the site, all the families with chicks moved to a location outside the posted area. They have remained there, and have been joined by the families with chicks which hatched over last weekend or early this week. Each day there were fewer and fewer pairs still sitting on nests inside the posted area. Finally this morning there were none. There are still two nests with 3 or 4 eggs in them, apparently abandoned. There are other abandoned eggs scattered around the site. I counted 19 this morning. (Click on photos to enlarge)

Yesterday I sent one of the chicks to Florida Wildlife Hospital, after observing that it could not stand or walk and the parents were unable to feed it. The rehabilitators did not find a leg fracture, but observed that the left leg was splayed and the chick could not use it properly. He/she was kept for feeding and observation. An update email Saturday included Margie's photo of the Skimmer chick being cared for at the Wildlife Hospital and this news: Here's the skimmer chick that came from the beach on Thursday. He's eating well and his leg seems a little better. But when he tries to stand on a normal surface, his left leg still splays out, so he has a ways to go still.

For the Beaners amongst you, Margie reports finding some sea-beans, and says the beach is loaded with sand collars right now. I've been seeing them for a week or ten days, but today they showed up by the thousand. Sand collars are the egg masses of moon snails, and consist of sand grains cemented together with gelatinous stuff and embedded snail eggs. Wikipedia goes on to note that after the eggs hatch, the collars disintegrate.
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