I’d love to say it is always a joy to check the nests at Plover Park, but that’s not exactly true. Sometimes it’s a chore, sometimes it’s frustrating, occasionally it’s sad.
But tonight was the best of it. A perfectly peaceful, early summer eve, and evidence that we are finally moving onwards and upwards after the storm.
The Least Terns were so busy working on their new nests, they barely noticed me. It didn’t feel chaotic at all tonight. On the contrary, it felt bustlingly busy in the best possible way. Like a Swiss watch or a General Motors’ assembly line in its heyday, everything felt harmonious, purposeful, coordinated.
The Park was alive with the hum of creation, in that very particular way that only the shore is supposed to be. The universe designed our beaches for beach-nesting birds and beach-nesting birds for our beaches, and on a night like tonight, in a place like Plover Park, you could experience how right that is. The sight of it was so astounding it bordered on magical.
See it once, and the Jersey Shore as you generally know it, no matter how lovely and how full of happy family memories it might be, suddenly seems a colder, sadder, unnatural, and more depressingly empty place. In this sense, there is a touch of melancholy and infinite sadness in Plover Park. Once you’ve reached the boundary of its caged and carefully cornered magnificence, you’re left wanting more and struck by the realization of how much we’ve surrendered or lost in the very narrow way we’ve defined recreation and imagined our experience of summertime joy along the coast.
So here we go. It turns out I lost the bet about which pair would renest first. Clearly, Captain Phillips and Fats were first, their new nest already at three eggs.
But Giantsbane and Myrtle were right behind them, though, already at two.
And as I left, I saw both Octavious Rex & Jennifer Jason Leigh and Stacy & Tatiana acting squirrelly just a smidge away from where their previous nests were. They are clearly going for it. All of our pairs are on board for the next phase of the 2021 season.
So I opted to let them be. Plover Park has given these animals a little room to work their magic; the rest will happen naturally.