Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day at the Beach

Today we went to the Delaware Bay with our friends from yesterday's wine tasting adventure.  We were on the beach long enough to see some young sea turtles as well as a large amount of breeding horseshoe crabs.  My friends were there a little over a week ago and said the beach was entirely covered with the horseshoe crabs...there weren't nearly as many for us to see today.  We then made our way to Bombay Hook which is a national wildlife refuge close to the Delaware Bay in hopes of seeing some more animals.

Horseshoe Crabs
The female horseshoe crab is about the size of one and a half males.  A bunch of the males would climb on top of one female and they would all attempt to fertilize her eggs.  The eggs looked like tiny green tapioca balls.

Great Egret
There were tons of birds.  Sandpipers, grackles, bald eagles, plovers, terns, cormorants, herons, and egrets.  This is a great egret, but snowy egrets were just as abundant today.

Fiddler Crabs
One of the trails took us down a little boardwalk where we saw sandy banks covered in hundreds of tiny holes.  Fiddler crabs kept popping in and out of them.

 Otter Tracks
The banks that were covered by fiddler crabs were also home to these tracks.  These tracks belong to the only mammal left on our "must see" list that we thought we had a chance of seeing today.  The otter.
At least we know where to spend a lot of time waiting for them next time.

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