This is a big category. There were so many different kinds of shorebirds when I visited. Of course, I wasn’t complaining. 😉
I visited the beach a couple of times at sunrise. This proved to be a good idea as the terns were hanging out on the beach grooming before taking off to eat breakfast. I saw a nice group of terns one morning with a lifer among them – the Sandwich Tern. I wonder how it got its name???
Also in the group were Royal Terns (gorgeous birds) and a juvenile Black Tern.
While driving along the beach I saw a group of Black Skimmers fly by feeding. Such a unique bird. You’ll notice the upper beak is shorter than the lower enabling it to skim the water while flying fast. I never saw any sitting still, so I was happy I managed to get one decent photo of one flying.
As always on the beach, lots of seagulls!
One variety of birds I just love are the sandpipers. When I was little living in the Philippines, I called the sandpipers “step and pecks” because that’s exactly what they do!
One day at the beach, I witnessed a very disturbing sight. I was looking at a particular bird that seemed different from all the Western Sandpipers around. So I went to grab my camera. When I turned around to take a picture, I didn’t see it. That’s when I noticed some grackles that were ganging up on something. I took a couple quick pics with my camera to see what they were attacking. I realized they were attacking the bird I wanted to photograph!!! What!?! I didn’t know grackles would kill anything. I thought they were scavenger birds. I put down the camera and went to see if I could save the little bird. Sadly, I was too late 🙁 I now hate grackles…..
Out at Charlie’s Pasture I sat quietly on a shaded bench for about an hour. Different varieties of birds would come and go from the pond. The highlight of that particular visit was when a large group of American Avocets flew in. I had never seen a large group in breeding plumage feed together before. It was like a beautiful ballet. They were a synchronized group that chattered constantly among themselves. It was a real delight to watch.
Another day at Charlie’s pasture I got another lifer – Gull-Billed Terns! They were quite a ways away so getting a decent pic was a challenge.
In great breeding numbers was the Least Tern. I searched in vain for any babies, but never did see any. The parents were clever enough to not feed any while I watched. They would land and just sit – waiting for me to leave. Oh well……
A favorite every time I visit the coast is the Brown Pelican. These birds are so unique looking. They are a joy to watch fish as they dive into the water and fill that giant bill with fish. The Brown Pelican during breeding season has beautiful coloration. On this trip, I got my most favorite photo I’ve ever taken of one.
I was excited to find Dunlins on several of my outings. They are a lifer for me!
There was such a variety of marsh and shorebirds everywhere I went. It was such a joy to see such unique birds!
While hiking around Charlie’s Pasture, I noticed a couple of plovers. One in the very far distance was a Snowy Plover. Happily one close by was a lifer for me. A Wilson’s Plover!!
I love birding at the beach during spring!