Dad and Marshmallow spent the early morning alternating between foraging at the tide flats and within the protected area.
Several frights this morning – joggers jogging in the wrack line, exactly where Marshmallow was foraging, but Dad did his broken wing thing and it distracted perfectly. This was followed by the Red Fox traveling the beach, followed by the couple who walk their dog every morning, again, exactly where the chick is foraging. I have a call out to our excellent dog officers and it should be an easy $300.0 for the City because the couple and their large dog come at the same time everyday.
The greatest fright though occurred when a friend came far too close to the Dad and Marshmallow while they were quietly thermoregulating. This caused the pair to tear off into the protected area, and then Dad immediately began piping orders to head to the Creek. Unfortunately, and very unexpectedly, some heavy machinery, a backhoe loader I think, was rounding the bend just as the two were hightailing it down to the Creek. The machine frightened the bejesus out of them and they moved with lightening speed into the furthest most points of the Creek.
I am writing an email to the friend to gently ask her not to come so close to the family. The combination of a person coming much too close, coupled with the machinery at the worst time, could have spelled disaster. It sure is tough being a PiPl. Even when people are well meaning, coming too close is as frightening to the birds as is a fox, a dog, or heavy machinery.