The afternoon was spent with Pete Dunn who is a world class birder. He took us out toward the beach were we saw a couple of good sites. The first was Mute Swans and you are probably thinking oh how pretty. Well, one was very aggressive as you can see here.
The Red Knots are the small dots in the background of the photo above. They kept flying in as the evening drew to a close.
Lots of Laughing Gulls were also feeding with the Red Knots.
One our way back to the hotel we saw where banding was going on so we stopped the car and got out to take a looks. Lots of people were helping and some were just watching like we were.
This one is being banded and then handed off for blood samples and then eventually let go by the two young girls helping.
Passing the responsibility and stewardship from one generation to the next.
About this time someone came up and asked for volunteers and our hands shot up almost before they could explain what we were volunteering for. We didn't care...we just wanted to help. So we were taken over to another spot where this gentlemen explained to us how to band Ruddy Turnstones.
First you hold them like this...firm but not too tight.
Next someone will place a metal band on them and another person will place this larger band that can be read with binoculars. Next the wing length was measured...that was my job.
Trillium measured the head
and the bill.
and someone else weighed them and another person recorded the data.
Here is a view of a Turnstone for the camera.
I was a happy camper as I measured the wing...
and was even proud of the bird poop left on my pants after we banded 30+ Ruddy Turnstones.
It was one of those experiences that I will never forget. The combination of feeling the heart beats of these birds and the opportunity to make a contribution was awesome!
Be sure to visit Watery Wednesday for more insteresting photos and stories.