Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The oil-soaked cormorant died in the water

It's been two weeks since my last post, but it's not because there wasn't something to talk about; it's because I haven't had the words to describe the sadness I felt when, three days after I had spotted the cormorant on shore, two days after I had seen him again in the water near Port Hueneme Pier, I found him dead on the beach. I had missed a day in between because there had been a rainstorm. More than likely, he died of hypothermia. It was a lot for me to take in, the grief hard to bear, knowing I could have saved him if I had known he was in trouble. I should have made my plan, and executed a rescue. I'm so sad about the bird. He really was a magnificent creature.

I took his picture because the sorrow was important. It will always be important. The two bird deaths here in Port Hueneme happened as a result of the oil spill 30 miles up the coast--the Santa Barbara County oil spill near Carpinteria on December 7th. I found the oil-soaked grebe on December 10th already dead, and the oil-soaked cormorant died sometime before the morning of December 19th.

I will post again, as there are other things I want to discuss, like the dredging of Port Hueneme Harbor, and the clay-looking oily, rocky blobs left on shore as a result.

But I wanted to leave this post with a little hope:

Today I saw a pair of cormorants diving for fish today out beyond the breakers. I didn't take photos, as I haven't been taking my camera to the beach lately. I will return in the morning to check on them, and bring my camera just in case. But from now on, it is my first priority to make sure the birds are okay before snapping photos.

My husband and I rescued a young seagull with a broken wing two weekends ago. I had spotted him on the beach following sunset a couple of days before, and didn't think I could handle the rescue. When I approached him, he would run away--fast. So when we saw him again, my husband helped me corral him. I made the handoff to Liz, who had rescued two other seagulls the same day near Channel Islands Harbor and was taking them to a bird care facility. It was Liz who told me that mine was a young seagull, because he was brown-colored. I didn't have a camera at the time of his rescue, but I did go out the following day and take shots of the different-colored seagulls. I am including two:

All these wild birds deserve to have a clean ocean in which to live.


Unknown said...

nice to meet you! I am a chinese sudents,my major is environmental science,I love environment,so I support you very much!

coyotescribe said...

I very much appreciate your support. Thank you.