Beach Patrol

An old map I once saw named this section of Staten Island’s southwestern shore “Red Bank”. Herring Gull. One of the Raritan Bay channel markers (“red-right-return” to the sailors) had an even bigger gull on it. Indeed, the world’s biggest: a Greater Black-backed Gull, who made a sortie after a fish-laden Osprey. The Osprey held firm.Not an uncommon sponge find. But I’ve never seen such recently washed ashore ones.This color! Red-beard Sponge (Clathria prolifera)?An unknown crab… updated via iNaturalist as the invasive Asian Shore Crab (Hemigrapsus sanguineus).The beach was littered with dead filleted fish, fish heads, and two big, rotting corpses. I think these latter were Sheepsheads. This is the lower jaw of one them. Yes, they have teeth! Too bad they don’t crunch up their killers, right? The seaweeds exposed at very low tide.

Visited the same area almost exactly a year ago, and the big difference this time was that there were no Bank Swallows seen nesting in the bank.

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