Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Plum Island beach 2008

my cheeks burned
of halo glow
I love you
of that I know

Photo from our trip to Plum Island, Ma. One of the warbler boardwalks is named Hellcat. Every morning we made haste to Hellcat. In total we saw 98 species of birds.

I took a class on bird banding and watched as a Common Yellow Throat was delicately untangled from a mist net. My group observed the handling, measuring of wings, breast checking for fat, metal banding and then the release of the tiny warbler. I kept wondering if I would be uncomfortable with this type of handling from a another species/entity.

We drove to the end of the island and walked the beach- a Plover was sending out an alarm call as she circled her nesting area. We kept our distance but with the aid of binoculars we got to see her digging in the sand and possibly depositing eggs.

Our shadows lay
within the night
small white feathers fell gently
from our invention
wings of wax, string and molted bits
divinity chose us
after the dazzling play of light
we became, become, becoming
neatly folded into one


Every year during the migration of birds, especially warblers, we take our vacation on or near Plum Island. Last year we saw over 120 birds- so you see this year the count was down. This year we stayed for 10 days- which is absolutely the longest we have done yet. I would like to work ourselves up to a month. I may have to wait till my retirement. During this time we live, eat, dream and follow the winged ones.
This year there where two storms that created huge wind gusts and large waves. So the birds hunkered down or didn't fly in. They fly with a south wind and mostly at night. We were blessed with a few days of warblers: Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Magnolia, Northern Parula, Yellow, Yellow-rump,Chestnut-sided, Black-and-white, and American Redstart.

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