[Tweeters] Port Townsend Martins, etc.

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Thu Apr 30 16:49:04 PDT 2015

April 19th, as I posted on Tweeters, I heard my first of year Purple Martin at the Marine Science Center, and the next day I actually saw one - perched on one of the nest boxes on the pier. Today (4/30) the pier was alive with exuberant Martins - I saw at least 7 - about as active and loud as a Martin can be. The Martins were zooming all around the aquarium building, chasing each other (and other birds like Crows and the pier Rock Pigeons) all over the place, and also swarming all over the Martin houses. Great to see and hear.
On my post's I've often blathered on about watching plankton - tiny water plants and animals that drift through the waters around here, and are the base of the aquatic food chain. It exists in fascinating variety , and especially so right now - each tide bringing in whole new inventories of the stuff. Right now I''m seeing a lot of Arrow Worms - an interesting creature (most around a half-inch long or so) which is often hard to see, because its mostly transparent - looks like a straight and narrow sliver of clear glass. It is a little predator, that eats even smaller creatures. Kind of a cool animal, in my opinion. The water has been very calm and clear at lower tides, so I'm able to see them floating about, in the right lighting. Oh, sure they're tiny, but neat. You might wanna see one.
A reminder that the Marine Science Center aquarium is open now on Friday, Sat, and Sun. afternoons - and they gotta microscope in there you can use see the plankton close-up. The other day I picked up what I recognized as a barnacle foot floating by (I have see Shiner Perch - a fish- grabbing these from live barnacles, presumably to yank out the shrimpy meat inside the barnacle, and I guess leaving the feathery feet behind, floating in the water). At any rate, lots of left-over barnacle feet around.
So I took the little thing up to the microscope for a closer look and was amazed at the structural beauty of a barnacle foot. The plankton samples to view are often full of mysterious bits of animals and plants like this , things I enjoy seeing and trying to figure out.
Jeff Gibsonreporting fromPort Townsend Wa

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