Saturday, December 11, 2010

Beach Combing Finds

The dog and I walk on the beach every morning, and while the dog enjoys chasing tiny sea birds and swimming in the shallow waves I prefer the peace and quiet of the beach. I usually come back with a small handful of treasures which often consists of bits of sea glass, all though this week I brought back huge chunks of it and a huge chunk of pottery that had washed ashore.

We've had a few wild storms here this week, and when there's storms seaweed can wash ashore. Not just little bits and pieces of it, but great big globs of it. There can seaweed waste high for an average sized adult out there, or knee high, or even ankle high. This week it's mostly ankle high. This can limit beach combing unless you enjoy searching through all kinds of seaweed. I'm not big on it, because I'm always waiting for a nice little octopus to wave his tentacles and beg for help. My kids think this is funny, and Mr S was caught sneezing and coughing loudly behind his napkin.

On Friday, the dog and I had our normal walk on the beach, but on our way home I had to climb up a wall of rocks to get off the beach due to the seaweed. While scaling away I was listening to the tale end of A Christmas Carol and thinking about how in all the years I've seen various versions of the movie I've never once listened to the book. I was also debating how realistic it was that the butcher would have rushed back with his best turkey for Scrooge considering his reputation, but none of that really applies to what I found next.

As I made it to the top of the rock ledge I noticed an odd rock laying on the ground and upon further inspection discovered it was really a Seagull egg. I was extremely impressed by this, which might sound odd, but let me explain.. A few months ago Morgan read the book Seagulls (Dk reader) to us and we learned a lot about seagulls from the little book. We learned that the nest in rocky areas, so we've been on the lookout for seagull nesting areas, but we honestly figured they were up the beach farther where the rocks are less investigated by dogs and people.

The beach I frequent each morning is known for dogs on it. It's one of only a few in our area that dogs are freely permitted to run. There are plenty of various seagulls down there, my favourite being the Pacific Gulls who are very intimidating looking as juveniles, but much less so looking as adults. However, I don't think that any of them are the parents of the egg I found. I rather think this egg belongs to one of the smaller families of gulls.

I will admit to bringing the egg home, but the rest of the nest was smashed, which is why I didn't recognize it as a nest at first. There was also egg yolk all over the exterior of the egg which was equally cracked. The first thing Morgan said when I brought it home was, "Oh please can we put a light on it like the girl!" (We recently watched Fly Away Home.) Which I considered, but I suspect the egg was abandoned much longer then the geese eggs in the movie.

In fact, when I picked the eggs up I was waiting for a seagull to swoop me, but none of them even glanced in my direction. It will be interesting, though, to keep an eye on that area and see if another nest pops up. Perhaps a quoll attacked, but really I would have thought the gull could have taken them. Which makes me suspect a dog is much more the suspects.

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