South Coast - Albatross, Swans and Swallows
- Tuesday, December 11, 2007.
I stopped by Arena Cove this afternoon and saw "Al" the Laysan Albatross. He swam up to a returning fishing boat and either greeted the fishermen or begged for a handout, depending on your interpretation of Albatross bill clackings. I clearly noticed that he was using both legs for propulsion as he swam across the bay. This surprised me greatly. Last winter one leg trailed uselessly as he swam. I was unable to stay long enough to see him fly. If anyone sees the bird fly in or take off, please post your observation of the legs - does one leg still dangle as the bird flies, and does the bird still hop across the water on one leg as it takes flight? Does anyone know whether a broken leg (at least we assumed it was broken) can heal and become totally functional without receiving aid? As I watched the interaction with the fishermen, I heard one of them claim that this was not Al, but a different bird. I find it easier to believe that the leg could reheal on its own than that another Laysan would quickly fill the void left by a non-returning Al.
I stopped at Stoneboro Road just before sunset and observed 6 Tree Swallows. I was also able to count 16 Tundra Swans near the mouth of Brush Creek as they flew into the estuary for the evening.
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