Summer migration sightings on Gooseberry

Place sure does change once the warm weather arrives.  All spring we have been looking for signs of  the birds migrating north – and we’ve seen a few, but nothing like what happens in August as they come off the breeding grounds in the arctic and  head south. But we did see the first real sign of the Summer migration for that other species – homo sapiens sapiens.

Wiki starts off the description of this species this way –

Humans (Homo sapiens sapiens), the only living members of the genus Homo, are mammals of the primate order originally from Africa, where they reached anatomical modernity about 200,000 years ago and began to exhibit full behavioral modernity around 50,000 years ago.[]”

Oh my – I would beg to differ slightly. I think  “full behavior modernity” is only just starting 😉 Of course they weren’t the only migrants. This cat bird was singing his heart out near the towers.

Click any image for larger version.

And Red Admirals are a familiar sight now among the wildflower blooms.

But then as we emerged onto the west beach just past the towers we saw this.

A sure sign of that noisy, intrusive species. And there were a lot of discards like this because sadly many of them don’t seem to get the message – you bring it in, you take it out.  We also saw a large patch of burned pampas grass  on the east side and you had to wonder if that wasn’t the result of a stray rocket.

The west side especially, starting near the parking lot, was lined with fishermen seeking blues and stripped bass – with the occasional jogger gingerly dodging the rocks.

While overhead light planes, such as this Cessna Skyhawk – well that’s my best guess – seemed to be scouting the beaches.

And, of course, there were folks like us just enjoying a leisurely circumnavigation of the Gooseberry world.

And we have gotten used to the Eiders who seem to have made this their summer home, though we’ve seen no sign of young.

What looks like another permanent summer resident – in fact, given all the flying around we saw, I would guess a breeder – is the Willet. (Hmmm . . . and in breeding plummage he’s more speckled than usual.)

Later, in the air, one of what seemed to be a pair of Willets seen frequently over the south end marshes. Don’t you love those markings, so distinctive in flight, yet hidden on land? (Yes, I know most shorebirds show similar patterns, but the Willets seem distinctive and the black patch so intense.)

Oh – and one of the more distinguished migrants – perhaps a stray – was this sleek yacht which had anchored off the east beach and was flying a Union Jack, though we debated that for some time as something seemed to be a little off about it when viewed in binoculars. But Union Jack it was.

And, of course, the East beach near the parking lot was loaded with swimmers and sunbathers and a few Hobbie Cats as well.

But yes – as you probably noticed int he distance, there’s a new sub-species of paddle boarders. Saw my first of these a year ago. And the group below made me curious about what’s the attraction of standing up while paddling on what is essentially a surfboard.  Well, if you;re curious too, there’s some explanation here.   Seems to appeal to both sexes.

Doesn’t appeal to me – I know I’d fall in the water pretty quickly. I’ll stay seated in my comfortable kayak 😉

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