Mud stomping in my rain boots

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“April showers” were definitely slowing us down this week, survey wise. However, I kept being optimistic that i was going to get out and survey at least once, and I did. When I went out to one of our black oystercatcher sites, I got to observe two couples after the rains passed through. They are very territorial, and chatty. You could tell when one couple was getting too close to the another couples area, because they start making really loud calls, telling them to move.

Although the rain kept us in some days this week, the wet weather came in just in time for the snowy plover mud stomp. Hugo and I went to a wildlife viewing area on the other side of HWY 1, away from the beach, to “stomp” some possible nests in the ground. The previous rain storms kept the ground muddy, so we could make inprint in the ground with our boots. So we went around a large area, making divets in the grounds that snowy plovers can use as a nest, and as a hiding place for chicks after they hatch. It was fun, because usually you walk around the mud, not through it. Pieces of shells were later scattered around, so plover chicks could hide behind, or blend in the shells as camoflauge. We saw snow plovers already nesting, and we also saw one egg. We learned a lot about the importance of the mud stomp from Carelton from PRBO, and there was about 40 people in attendance, so lots of other people care about the plovers too. Some people heard about the event from the newspaper, and came from both the Santa Cruz and Monterey area. So im still learning about how to get the word out events like these, and possible events that i can hold at Elkhorn Slough.

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