This morning one of my coworkers found me between classes and informed me that there was a Snowy Plover on the beach down by the shipwreck, and that Jon (another of my coworkers, and my fellow bird-nerd) was going to go see it and was planning on taking me with him. Get a life bird on company time? Count me in! And really, all life birds should be this easy to get, because all we had to do was stroll down the beach and there it was exactly where we’d been told it would be, a tiny pale bird working the wrack line by the shipwreck. (Yes, there is a real shipwreck on the beach where I work.) When we first saw it, it was moving too fast to get in Jon’s spotting scope, but it was coming in our direction so we just sat down on the sand and watched it pass by. It was great. Lydia over at Coastal Georgia Birding, who tipped us off, got some photos.
Last week was actually the first time I’d visited Arizona without adding something to my life bird list. I think today’s Snowy Plover may have been the universe’s way of correcting this imbalance. Ha – if only birding karma really worked that way.
Seeing a Snowy Plover here is unusual because they normally winter on the Gulf coast. However, as everyone is aware, the Gulf was devastated by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill last summer. Who knows, the wrong turn that brought our bird to Jekyll Island instead may actually have been a fantastic stroke of luck?
The Clean Water Act requires that those responsible for the oil spill disaster, including (of course) BP, have to pay hefty fines for their involvement – possibly up t0 $21 billion(!!!) dollars in this case. However, the CWA doesn’t specify what the government has to use that money for. Congress is currently entering their “lame duck” session, and now is their chance to pass legislation dedicating these funds for the cleanup and restoration of Gulf ecosystems. Please, contact your representatives now and urge them to do so. The Audubon Society has even provided a handy form letter you can copy and paste if you’re short on time to compose your own as well as a fact sheet you can refer to for more information. And, if you’re a blogger, consider posting about this issue yourself using the badge below.
Believe me, the plovers will appreciate your effort.