Friday, December 27, 2013

Walk on Jensen Beach-Southbound

December 27
Walk on Jensen beach, Southbound. Sunny with scattered cumulus with the temperature in the low 80's (about 27C).
Beginning at 11 AM this morning, an east wind blowing briskly, bringing an unwelcome visitor to the public beach-Portugese Man 'O War Jellyfish (Physalia physalis).

These are common winter hazards to beach-goers, as the tentacles will cause a painful sting, usually treated by lifeguards with vinegar.

Photo: Man 'O War- note that the tentacles are under this specimen.

Another mile or so up the beach, there is no development, and birds abound. I noted several hundred Brown Pelicans in many of their loose “V” formations all flying south. They are likely going to the Jupiter area where the Florida Current is close to shore, with the large schools of fish they need for feeding.

There were also dozens of Willets and hundreds of Sanderlings feeding in the surf, though I did capture a mixed flock having a well-deserved rest.
Photo: Willets (larger birds)  and Sanderlings

Also, about half a dozen Ruddy Turnstones, 4 Black-bellied Plovers, a few Royal Terns, and one Magnificent Frigate Bird, probably checking for vulnerable nests (pelicans, herons etc.).

Two miles down the beach, I flagged down another beach-goer to capture your hard-working blogger at work.

Your Intrepid Blogger-the larger shrubs in the background left of the photo are Sea Grapes.
Yesterday I mentioned the propagule of the Red Mangrove. Here is a fully formed one on the beach today.

These are self contained fully formed plants which, if washed ashore in a favourable spot, after a few weeks exposure in water, the brown end spouts the roots, and the green end, leaves and stem. I also noticed the “lima-bean” sprouts of the Black Mangrove at one place on the beach, and they were germinating. The third Florida species is the White Mangrove.
Photo of Red Mangrove propagule