Today we’re sharing posts from the Woods Walks and Wildlife blog by plover monitor volunteer Elizabeth Medina-Gray, who keeps an eye on threatened piping plovers at Silver Sands State Park in Connecticut. Laura Saucier with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection tells us that about 50 pairs of piping plovers have landed in the state to breed and raise chicks this summer, with the most–11 pairs–in Milford. While the pair at Silver Sands State Park didn’t put their nest in the state park, they’re sure to visit for food!
Piping Plover Up Close
During my visit to Silver Sands State Park yesterday, I took a bit of a detour to check on a pair of piping plovers that have set up a nest on the beach just east of the park. I’ve never walked out of the park’s boundaries in this direction before, and the shoreline’s definitely beautiful. I can see why people would want to have houses here:
The piping plovers (perhaps the same pair I saw at Silver Sands a few weeks ago?) were nicely settled on their sandy nest essentially in someone’s back yard. The nest is surrounded by protective fencing that the plovers can wander freely through but which keeps predators and people away. (I don’t have any pictures of the nest because I kept my distance.) The two plovers took turns incubating the eggs while the other bird went foraging. It was a little strange to see the plovers running past furniture as they hunted around their home:
After I’d finished watching the nest, as I was heading back along the shoreline, the male piping plover flew down to the water’s edge and landed right in front of me to hunt. I avoid approaching these birds so as not to disturb them (especially now that they’ve got a nest), but if they come to me, then OK!
Read the rest at Elizabeth’s blog, and check out another recent post on plovers! She’s got some incredible wildlife photos.