We look forward to our morning walks on the boardwalk these days as the heat and humidity keep us close to home the rest of the day. My husband and I always start at the gazebo then we walk the short trail to the beach.
We attempt to slip into the scenery so as not to disturb any birds there.
I like to sit on the rocks and watch quietly as they come, go and walk along the beach, feeding.
It takes a few minutes to spot the birds. This area of beach has small rocks and most of the shorebirds blend into the scene so well. In time, one sees movement among the rocks. How many birds can you see on this beach below? Hint: there are two sizes of birds there, larger Ruddy Turnstones and smaller Semi-palmated Plovers.
A scan of the water’s edge reveals other shorebirds as well. They forage in silhouette often, depending on their location in relation to the sun. Patience makes for better photos and easier identification.
Left, Lesser Yellowlegs. Right, Greater Yellowlegs.
Then there are the larger birds. Recently, on a visit to Cape Egmont, we watched cormorants land on the sea stack there. Two of the birds had damaged wings which didn’t appear to impede flight. I wonder about their chances during the long flight south however.
Along the boardwalk, several of the Blue Jays recently have had bald heads, probably due to molting. The feathers grow back quickly but make for an unusual sight among the Jay population.
And finally, but consistently along the shoreline, the quiet as we sit and watch is broken by the sound of a shell dropping to earth from a gull above.
We saw something in an old snag recently and a close-up showed it to be a shell which could have been dropped prematurely by one of the gulls.
They will repeatedly scoop up the same shell and drop it until it breaks, then eat the food inside.
This time in nature is a great way to forget the cares of the world and just enjoy nature and life in general.
In the photo of the two species of birds on the beach, there are 6 small birds, Semi-palmated Plovers and 3 larger birds, Ruddy Turnstones.
Maebeme asked about molting in Blue Jays. The birds molt after nesting every year. The Jays on the boardwalk here already have their feathers back.