Sunday, June 29, 2008

Halt that construction...plovers on the way???

About two weeks ago I started to notice this bird taking a run at my car as I drove down the lane way to our cottage so last Sat morning before heading out on my trip I walked up the lane to get the Guardian and low and behold this plover like bird starts dragging its wing up towards our gate. On my way back to the cottage I noticed this depression in the middle of our gravel driveway with 4 eggs and the bird was limping off in another direction trying to fool me away from her eggs. I tried to get a good look at this bird and as I got closer it limped further away but I did start thinking it looked like a plover as it had a ring around its neck. I went and got my camera and took some pictures of the eggs and when I looked up piping plovers on the web the eggs were exactly alike and the plovers usually laid 4 at a time. Although I was excited to think I had plovers on the property I was also aware that our driveway and construction project would have to be shut down. So I tried calling Parks Canada in Dalvay but it was Saturday and there was no answer. I tried reaching Diane Griffin and Doug Deacon to help me identify the nest before I left on the trip but I couldn't reach them. I then called my friend Linda Stevenson of the Nature Conservancy of Canada who in turn put me on to a number of people all of whom I couldn't reach. I decided I better shut down the roadway so I had to take Keir away from his day off as he had the key to change the controls on our gate and I also wanted to park one of our trucks in front of the access so someone wouldn't invariably find a way to drive down the road. I also noticed on the web that a way of protecting the plover was to build a fence corral around the nest and since I couldn't get a hold of anyone I decided I better delay my trip until I had a solution to protect what I thought were plovers. After lunch I got my first returned call from Jackie Waddell who is in charge of the Plover Watches on PEI and she confirmed that the bird was a Killdeer a member of the plover family who looks and lays similar eggs to the piping plover. Thank God it wasn't a crow as it was embarrassing enough fielding all the return calls explaining that it wasn't a piping plover, but Jackie was very courteous and thanked me for calling and explained they would always prefer a call when someone was in doubt. Linda, Barb, Diane, Doug, Keir, Rick and everyone who helped with the Plover Alarm, thanks.... I decided to leave the road closed anyway and opened our other road as an alternate (not good for the Porsche) and when I arrived home today I took a look and momma Killdeer is still happily resting on the nest in the middle of our blocked off driveway. It’s been quite a spring at the cottage as we are doing a little renovation and so far we have some geese in our pit, some ducks in our pond, some new fox cubs playing next to the cottage, a new pair of red-winged blackbirds, a racoon under the deck, the usual crows and our marsh hawk that swings by every evening. Now all we need is some better weather.

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