The Plover Park Diaries, June 20th

Nest #05D

June 20th

Today Jess and I finally found nest #05D. Thank God. Especially since we found it at only two eggs instead of the three at which we discovered some of these other rushed, panicked, desperate re-nesting attempts after the big nor’easter wiped everything out.

But whatever relief I felt shortly after finding it has already vanished completely. Now I feel nothing but dread. I’m sure I’ll sleep worse tonight than I did the last few when I knew this nest was lying around out there in the Park, naked and undiscovered.

Because now I can see it in my mind’s eye, and all I see is a sitting duck with a broken wing and two broken legs.

And I know Coyote likes the weekend. Coyote likes holidays.

I’d love to believe this will all be over soon when the nest gets its electrified wire exclosure, but now I know all too clearly that maybe that will be worse. Fats only laid these two eggs because she and Captain Phillips had abandoned the last one when it was also urgently exclosed early.

Everyone knows that caging the eggs too soon is more likely to lead to an abandonment of the nest. But not caging the eggs can lead to losing absolutely everything overnight. And that, having just happened, is much fresher in my mind right now. So it’s time to act quickly and decisively. This predicament clarifies what crude tools wire cage exclosures are and how much we can only know the correct answer with hindsight. And even then, sometimes not.

The Park is now thick in the fog of war. We are fighting to bring anything that survives home safely.

Nest #05D. Almost unbelievable. That’s four nests for Captain Phillips and Fats, and these two eggs are their 9th and 10th eggs of the season. That must be a record of some sort. This nest must be their last hope. Possibly even ours as well.

I have no idea how I’m going to tell this story on Readings From The Northside. Just a few weeks ago, I was joyfully making silly trading cards of the Park’s celebrity plovers, oblivious to the dark shadow which was about to engulf the Park and the season. Unfortunately, I only got to pair #03 before everything fell apart. How will I ever get to pair #05, and then pair #06, who are struggling too right now, hiding their nest high on a hill covered in thick grasses cowering in fear of the darkness and the terrors it brings?

Maybe it doesn’t matter. I don’t even need to keep the Readings as a journal anymore since I have NestStory now. Perhaps I should just post my diary entries from NestStory until I can get caught up. Starting with this one, then going back to that last gasp of innocent wonder, just before it all fell apart.


  1. Fourth try…
    Sure is a nail biter of a season.
    Great read, Jim. I can’t believe how much has happened since we were reading about your trading cards. I’m glad so many are working so hard for our birds, including you. Thank you!!


    1. Hi Bob, no, that is #01B, Giantsbane and Myrtle. If you are standing on the beach look at Myrtle’s nest, you can see #05D a few hundred feet to the west inside Plover Park.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s