RI Part 2: Piping Plovers & Osprey Activity

History buffs would love visiting this state … however, for me it was about birding and specifically water birds. I walked along Third Beach in Middletown which is next door to Sachest Point National Wildlife Refuge. 

Sand dunes are protected with fences to hold the dunes. Another couple of areas had string protecting piping plover nesting areas. Piping plovers are cute little birds but I had no expectation in actually seeing any. Fortunately though, as I was returning to my van, three piping plovers were down by the water’s edge! Another bird was hanging with them and its identification was not finalized till later that night … rare sighting, a Baird’s sandpiper.

Piping plover
Protective area for the piping plovers
Baird’s sandpiper
Many, many shells and these caught my eye as quite unusual.

After time at Third Beach, I decided to check another area along the East Harbor. While on my way, I passed a southern circuit Rail Explorers start point. It is a 3 mile out and 3 mile back tour where people pedal the rails! They even have a “Lantern ride”. All sounds like fun and I need to remember this activity since it happens elsewhere: Adironacks, Delaware, Las Vegas and NY’s Catskill Mountains. The operation began in 2015 and they are looking for more places for rail locations in the USA and world. Very interesting since rails are also being converted to bicycle paths …and for jogging, walking, etc.

As I continued my drive, an osprey nest caught my eye. I stopped north of the US Naval Undersea Warfare Center and walked along both sides of the road. The ospreys were quite busy building a nest and there were about 20 different bird species in the area. 

Osprey building its nest

Eventually, I had a wedding to attend to, so off I went to ready for it and locate a parking place in jam-packed Newport. I did find a parking spot, had my first parallel-parking experience with the van, and arrived at Kay Chapel at Hotel Viking for the wedding. (Kay Chapel was built in 1869 on land purchased from the Moravian Church and dedicated to the memory of Nathaniel Kay, Collector of King’s Customs in the early 18th century. I looked up the info since I found myself driving on Kay Street and thought there must have been significance in that name.)

After the wedding, I strolled a few of the busy streets in Newport with all its one way streets, shops and cafes. I cannot imagine this place in the summer season … grid-lock? 

Kay Chapel, associated with Hotel Viking, in Newport, RI

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