Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Some Recently Encountered Birds

Tuesday, May 30, 2006
During our time in Delaware, we DID do a bit of birding, and here is the visual proof.

Delaware's legendary Port Mahon Road hosts thousands of shore birds along its tideline each spring. These birds gather to feast on the eggs laid by horseshoe crabs.

We were shocked that Delaware still has not done anything to protect this vital stopover site for migrant shorebirds. Here some completely oblivious tourists are walking down the beach, spooking huge flocks of feeding shorebirds into flight. How could we blame them, there were no signs prohibiting beach walking.

To me this looks like a beautiful, tall woman on pink stilts on a busy street. In reality it's a female black-necked stilt among several dozen semipalmated sandpipers.

I love this red knot doing the angel-wing thing.

I found the knots devilishly hard to digiscope--they never stopped moving.

Jeff Gordon and Jim White picked out this lone least sandpiper (center). Note the dark "backpack strap", the yellow legs, and the thin bill as compared to the nearby semipalmated sandpipers.

Jeff G. also found several white-rumped sandpipers (center on the rock). Note the overall longer and leaner body shape, and the orange tint to the base of the bill.

A feeding frenzy ensues each May on the Delaware Bayshore. These are semipalmated sandpipers.

I kept watching to see if a sandpiper would walk between the legs of this stilt.

The ruddy turnstones were omnipresent, and this one was kind enough to perch on a post for me.

At Camp Arrowhead, I took this average image of a Forster's tern on a pier piling. Then I took the next photo.

Lightening his load just before taking off. It was total and complete luck that I got this shot.

It was not all shorebirds in DE. I stalked this male blue grosbeak, and this was the best I could do,. He was shy. I like how this shot shows the girth of his bill.


On May 31, 2006 at 12:59 AM Anonymous said...

Woo-hoo Bill, those photos are awesome. The light is amazing. You really got some great shots of really great birds.


On May 31, 2006 at 8:45 AM Rondeau Ric said...

BT3 - Forster's tern -
and you accuse me of bathroon humour!

On May 31, 2006 at 9:23 AM it's me said...

great shots and narrative about identification--made it easier to absorb--

On May 31, 2006 at 1:02 PM Karyn said...

Thanks for a little piece of home. As a recent transplant to Ohio from beautiful Maryland, I do miss my trips to the Delaware shore and Bombay Hook.

On May 31, 2006 at 1:22 PM Bill of the Birds said...

thanks for the kind comments (except for Ric). I miss the bayshore very much. Used to get over there 3 or 4 times a year when I lived in Baltimore. It was such good practice to spend an afternoon looking at thousands of shorebirds--they actually begin to NOT all look alike after a while.

On December 18, 2006 at 10:55 PM Anonymous said...

Great site -- enjoyed viewing your many pictures. Stumbled onto your site via Google Images -- Carolyn