Bill Dunson, born in rural Georgia, skipped 12th grade and went directly to Yale. He subsequently received his PhD in Zoology from the University of Michigan. Bill is Professor Emeritus of Pennsylvania State University, thanks to a career spent teaching and researching the physiological ecology and ecotoxicology of reptiles, amphibians and fish. Bill has dedicated his life to learning and sharing his knowledge with others. Join him as he observes our better nature on the Island, his newest home.
Monday, January 5, 2015
A picnic on the beach below Stump Pass and a rare bird
Anchored off the Spit at sunset
Just at sunset on Jan. 2, I was on the beach south of Stump Pass at the Spit, aka northern end of Knight/Palm Island.
A family of four (two parents and two small children) had anchored off the beach and had a picnic ashore complete with a table and chairs. They were departing at sunset with some difficulty since the surf and the deep water make boarding a boat a wet experience. They all made it and I am sure enjoyed their adventure.
Whimbrel with willets on Palm Island
There was to my surprise a very rare bird, a whimbrel, about 50 feet away with a group of willets. It has been seen in the general area for several weeks but moves around between Stump Pass Beach State Park, Cedar Point and Palm Island. A huge group of red knots, dunlins and other shorebirds was also settling down for the night nearby, illustrating how the beaches in the area can be utilized by large numbers of birds, especially in the late afternoon/evening.