Wednesday, April 18, 2012

West Haven fencing party

A big thank you to all of the volunteers who came out to help us erect fencing on Morse Point in West Haven this morning and early afternoon. Their help was greatly appreciated and made our work that much faster and easier. We hope to see more volunteers helping us out at Long Beach and Pleasure Beach in Stratford and Bridgeport tomorrow! Check here for more information. Scott Kruitbosch, Conservation Technician for Connecticut Audubon Society and the coordinator of the Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds project, took these photos during the effort.

 Part of the group getting ready

 A lot of stakes and signs

Tools of the trade - gloves, hammers/mallets, string, tape

 Rebecca Foster, CT DEEP Piping Plover Research Assistant who led the operation

 Audubon Connecticut's IBA Coordinator Corrie Folsom-O'Keefe

 Volunteers hard at work

 Covering both sides of the spit

 Against the city

 A Piping Plover nest was found in this area by Rebecca on Monday

 AAfCW waterbird technician Sean Graesser

 American Oystercatchers - a nest was found near them today, the first for Connecticut in 2012!

 Piping Plover pair - do they have a nest?

 We watched them from afar looking to see if the female was on a nest

 They seemed protective but not overly defensive or vocal

 Rebecca went in for a closer look after our observations and binocular viewing to see if she could find a nest. She is one of the few people authorized to do this stressful but necessary task. Monitors should never enter the string fencing. Even our staff will only observe from afar with binoculars, scopes, and long-zoom camera's like Scott's. There was no nest this time - not yet! Do you see the Piping Plover in front of Rebecca?

 This male Piping Plover seemed very comfortable around people

 He was almost too comfortable, not moving much as beachgoers walked close to him

Showing off that big and bold neck band

Thanks again to everyone for their time and energy today! Please remember that we all (and this includes AAfCW staff) must respect the string fencing and give the Piping Plovers their space, and let CT DEEP and their experts handling the close-up viewings and work. We can use our field equipment and big zoom cameras to get the closer views we all want. This is a critical juncture as nests and eggs are on the way across the state.

Audubon Alliance for Coastal Waterbirds, Audubon Connecticut and the Connecticut Audubon Society partnering to improve conditions for coastal waterbirds in Connecticut.

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