Friday, August 16, 2013

Not So Flimsy


My most recent paddling adventure
was to a nesting ground for terns, gulls, and cormorants.
Nesting season is long over,
so there was no danger of disturbing the birds.
I was fascinated with the cormorants nests in particular.

Many of the sticks they use are finger thick,
and you can see, quite long.  They are not so carefully
woven in, out, and around.
They'll carry sticks to the nest from as far away
 as several kilometers.

"Ground-nesting sites are characteristically on
low-lying rock islands or reefs,
away from or with little or no vegetation",
therefore they will build their nest up against anything
that might offer some protection from the weather.

 In many locations, especially in treetops,
cormorants will reuse nests from year to year.
Some of them get quite large. 
But winter storms can be pretty severe here,
and although they are not flimsy in the least,
none of these looked as though they'd been reused.
I'm guessing they have to rebuild each new season.
There were well over 100 nests scattered
all the way down to the end of this spit of land.
The male gathers the nesting material and the female
guards the nest against theives.
Judging from the concentrated population,
that must be an endless, frustrating job.


Here is a picture of a gull's nest for comparison,
flat and matted, almost like peat moss.
The majority of the gull's nest were found in the grasses.
Oh!  Did I say "flimsy"?
I finished one just this morning!

A bright and happy, scrappy 
Fons and Porter's Flower's for Hanna.
My goal is to complete it by Christmastime
to gift a friend.
Our parents were best of friends,
and I was only 7 months old when she was born.
We are literally lifelong friends,
just shy of 60 years.


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

my daughter would love seeing all those nest, she is almost as interested in birds as you are I think.
Nice to have a quilt top done isn't it - I have one from my stack of finished that is going to one of my niece's she is going through cancer right now and will be ready for chemo in a month or two and will need a little comfort.

TexWisGirl said...

the multitude of nests are cool! :)

Terry said...

Cool nests! Love your flimsy! :0)

FlourishingPalms said...

Such an interesting, information post! Who knew all that stuff about cormorants?! You live in an interesting habitat for wildlife. But it's good to see you're finding sewing time in between nature appreciation. Your flimsy is so pretty. I know the recipient will love it.

hetty said...

Very interesting! I have never seen a cormorant's nest before. Love your flimsy. Lucky friend!

Allie said...

Wow look at all those nests!! Beautiful! And I adore your flimsy, what a wonderful gift!

Lynn said...

!!! I love the quilt top!!! What a bright happy quilt, such a sweet pattern and I lvoe the appliqued flowers.
We have cormorants here at one lake in particular that I've noticed. i only see them in the winter, one of my favorite water birds to watch. I never knew that about their nests, and now I know where they go for the summer!

Linda said...

The information about the cormorant's nesting habits was very interesting, and the photo of the shoreline filled with nests was incredible. The quilt is beautiful, but I hope it's not a surprise for your friend. She probably reads your blog, you know.

DeniseinVA said...

Great photos, loved all those nesting shots. I've never seen their nests before. Thank you so much!

Vickie said...

Beautiful and interesting photos and your quilt is awesome ! What a lucky friend to receive that for Christmas !

grammie g said...

Hi Karen... What an interesting post of the nesting of the Cormorant's !!
Hard to believe all those nest, surely not a shortage of the bird around!!
A lot of places don't like these guys hanging around!! I love to see them ..they have an intelligent air about them ; ) do ask what that means lol!!

Lucky Hanna..the quilt is lovely!!


Kay L. Davies said...

When I lived on the west coast, we used to see hundreds and thousands of gulls, but never a nest. They obviously found places on uninhabited parts of the offshore islands. I somehow thought they'd be nesting in the caves and clefts of the rock cliffs, not on a beach or even in the grass. Little did I know.
I love the long shots showing all the cormorant nests up and down the beach. The nest on a wooden box made me smile.
Thanks for the lesson! The sort of thing I always wonder about.

Montanagirl said...

That's a neat bunch of nests! Pretty communal. Love the quilt too - very pretty.

Fiona said...

those nests are pretty amazing... you have to watch where you step!
and a lovely flimsy for a special friend... so cheerful...

Our photos said...

Beautiful Quilt and lovely photos!
Greetings from, RW & SK

Carrie P. said...

that is so neat. thanks for sharing. I always learn new things from you blog.
love that quilt.

Lois Evensen said...

What a fascinating post about the nesting birds! And, the flimsy is lovely, too. :)

Greetings from Port Canaveral,

Maartje Quilt said...

Awesome photoś and beautiful quilt!

Judy said...

Your paddling adventure sounds quite nice. What a great quilt for a lifetime friend!

jan said...

All those nests are awesome. And I love your flimsy. can
t wait to see it finished
xo jan