- Merri-Lee M.
Waiting for Little Ones...and a Surprise Visit from One of Last Year’s Chicks
Things are fairly quiet on the beach these days, with Piping Plovers taking turns incubating eggs and feeding along the shore.
At the North nest, Ms. Green Dots and Mr. Blue Bands are expected to become proud parents to 4 fluffy chicks any day now (around the 15th). Last year all 4 of their chicks fledged, and we are hoping that they are successful again this year in raising a family. On the evening of June 12, Mr. Blue Bands spent at least 2 hours on the eggs, while Ms. Green Dots was nowhere to be seen.
At Nest 2, Mr. ObbO was in the exclosure incubating on June 12, while Ms. Sunshine enjoyed a meal and a bath along the shoreline.
On a previous visit to Sauble, on June 3, Ms. Sunshine was on the nest, and her mate was out of sight --- until another Plover flew in from the North.
Mr. ObbO appeared from nowhere, and the 2 little Males chased each other around for a few minutes, then flew off to the North, piping and complaining.
I was only able to take a few quick photos of the “intruder”, and did not realize until I was home that it was none other than “Green Dots Junior” from last year's Nest 1 (his parents are Ms. Green Dots and Mr. Blue Bands).
His bands are X , L (203 upside down) : O (Green Dot) , L/O/L.
Very exciting to see this little bird returning from Florida, where he had been sighted and photographed several times during the Winter! He only stayed a day or 2 at Sauble, but perhaps someone else will see him .... at Wasaga .... or in Michigan ... or on Toronto Island .... who knows where he will turn up next?
Mr. ObbO quickly returned to his nest site to brag about his ability to successfully defend his territory!
Nest 3 was finally established slightly North of the Volleyball courts (thank goodness!), and Ms. Sunset and her partner have been incubating since about May 30. Their expected hatch date is June 27. On the evening of June 12, one of the birds was sitting on the nest (first picture in this blog) while the other foraged somewhere along the shore.
As the birds spend this time (almost a month) waiting for their families to appear, they remain vigilant, always aware that danger is everywhere on the beach. Here we see Ms. Sunset from Nest 2, on a break from her incubating duties, checking the sky for Merlins or Gulls or Crows, and flattening herself in the sand.
Soon there will be a new generation of little Piping Plovers to teach and protect.....and these parents are ready!