Thursday, August 22, 2013

Glorious Beach Bird Day!

What a beautiful morning this was! There is nothing like walking the beach being illuminated by the full moon....looking for turtle tales and just enjoying BEing in the moment.

And then I turn around to witness a fantastic sunrise - wow and wow!

It made me smile to see the Frigatebirds gliding about - 3 of them and just a moment later 3 Black Skimmers flew by as they fed on the water surface....too fast for me to catch a photo.

I thought I had these down pat but apparently I look at them and try to compare them with my books, I seem to get more confused along the way. Am I seeing a Semipalmated and a Western Sandpiper or am I looking at Sanderlings in different plumage?

Ruddy Turnstone - is easy enough to identify as it's behaviors is unlike any other.

Black-bellied Plover is starting to lighten up it's belly.

Ha! Look at the Willet on the right - it seems larger and positively a different color than the guy on the left....I would venture to guess that I have an Eastern Willet on the left and a Western Willet on the right...right?

There were plenty of Terns this morning on the beach too - the Sandwich Terns were being their usual vocal self as well as the Least Terns seen here with the Royal Tern.

This one - I believe is a Black Headed Gull with it's ruby red beak and legs.

And here I believe we have 3 Laughing gulls - the middle one a juvi?

Check out the rest of the list for today that I submitted on E-Bird.


  1. I highly recommend the Bird Patrol Tour - August 24, Saturday 8:30 AM San Carlos Bay - Bunche Beach.
    Charlie is an excellent shorebird teacher.

    1. Yes, thank you. I already have that date on my calendar and I look forward to attend and learn.

  2. Hi France, Your sandpipers appear to be Sanderlings. There is a significant size difference between the species. A western Willet would be an extraordinary find. The western species's bill is slightly upturned. You appear to have an eastern juvi with an adult. Black-headed Gull would be another special find. That species has much lighter mantle and covert feathers than Laughing Gull (other than what your image shows). I think all of your gull images are Laughing with the juvi at center in the one image. If I recall correctly, a Western Gull was observed at Blind Pass last year. A very good record it was. I recommend you use David Sibley's "Guide to Birds" (paperback edition).

    1. I believe that I just heard the Gulls laughing.
      Thanks for your reply for the detailed information - will have to look at David Sibley's Guide to Birds.

  3. You are really getting some nice pictures. I have never seen the white crowned pigeon. I love the colors...

  4. Just looking at your photographs, I can actually smell the salt air! Thank you for sharing, France!
    It seems you had some good responses for your identification queries. Thanks on behalf of the "shorebird-challenged" everywhere!

    1. I truly love sharing what I come across and when it is appreciated - it feels even sweeter, so thanks for that.
      I was out today and got more exposure to those shorebird - it ain't over yet.