Last week I, along with some other bird enthusiasts and Audubon Society members, volunteered to watch the snowy plovers that are nesting on Siesta Key. The person who usually watches over them was taking a vacation so we were filling in. Each day one or two of us would take note of the nesting area and report back to the others.
There are 4 roped off areas on the north beach. Two are at access 7, one just south of them and a fourth at Tivoli Beach which is just south of access 10. There are nests with eggs at north access 7 and Tivoli Beach, although Tivoli Beach has, it seems, everyone scratching their heads. I’ve seen a nest each day, I saw a pair of plovers one day when one was sitting on the nest. However, another person saw eggs on the east side of the roped area. Others have seen nothing. The last day I was on duty the wind was strong and the fine white sand on our beach was drifting. I noted in my journal that the nest at Tivoli was covered over by the drifting sand and the snowys were away from the area so I’ll return at a later date to check on it. It’s been very windy each day since and today it has been raining. I’ll go visit tomorrow.
Meanwhile, collectively, we’ve repaired posts that were knocked down by people at the nesting sites (some posts were used for a sand sculpture) and signs that were blown over in the wind, talked to people about the birds and asked them to keep their dogs away from the nesting sites, and had 2 people arrested (they were living on the dune which was illegal but they were suspected of messing with the posts and signs surrounding the nesting sites). People have disrespected the ropes and signs and walked through the sites nearly missing one of the nests.
I’ll continue to help out with the snowys as they endeared themselves to me. Click here for more info on this sweet little creation: http://www.nbii.gov/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=768&&PageID=2120&mode=2&in_hi_userid=2&cached=true