Since Orange Green returned to Lea-Hutaff a short while ago, we’ve been hoping to see the other five oystercatcher tracking project alums come back to their nesting grounds. Last weekend, we were happy to see Arnie#&151;and several other pairs of oystercatchers#&151;back on Ferry Slip Island.
While he was away, Arnie spent time in South Carolina. Mark Spinks from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources found him near Georgetown, in a winding coastal marsh called Sixty Bass Creek. He probably spent the entire winter there, taking advantage of extensive oysterbars and the relatively remote coastline, which does not receive much disturbance in the winter months.
Now Arnie is back, and not only back in the same geographic region, or even on the same island, but on the same side of the island that he nested successfully on last year. He’s pairing up with an unbanded bird and keeping an eye on his noisy neighbors, the many Laughing Gulls that are also getting ready for the nesting season. In a few weeks, the pair will probably be incubating a new clutch of eggs, and spring will really have arrived.