It’s almost as if it’s a rite of passage each spring – the posts go into the sandy beach, rope or tape or actual slats get strung between the spindly barricades erected in the sand. On the other side of the screen – however flimsy and ineffective it might be, the sand is not manicured. The sweepers do not come and dislodge the evidence of what the Gulf Coast naturally looks like. Long and large swaths of beach are converted to nesting areas for the Least Tern.
Least Tern nesting is a big deal. Once the barriers go up, no one except volunteers are supposed to enter the nesting areas.
Every year, though, we lose hundreds of nests because people don’t follow the signs.
I don’t know if that empty Mt. Dew bottle just blew into the nesting area or if someone carelessly blundered through. I’m inclined to believe it blew into there, but it was Memorial Day weekend, which means more drunk and clueless people on the beach than normal.
There were hundreds of terns in the air and swooping back down to the ground.
Even with my zoom lens, I couldn’t really capture any of the terns nesting. There was the problem of distance and trying to focus in on the birds, first and foremost. And then there was the problem of how quickly the birds moved. I would bet good money that most of the terns didn’t stay on the ground for more than 30 seconds. This girl is the best I could do, and she’s heavily cropped. If you look closely you see the third reason it’s hard to capture the terns nesting.
The least terns are an important part of our Coast. We will gladly give up some beach for their continued health and survival.
Where I’m linking up today.