Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Avalon Add-On.

The sun came out a couple of days after our Barnegat adventure, so I decided to venture on over to the seawall closer to home... Fair number of loons, and more herring gulls lining Townsend's Inlet than the entire state could have claimed a handful of decades ago. No impressive diving ducks, but I did manage a few species we missed at Barnegat Light.

I'd had enough of jetty walking, so even though "ours" is a bit safer (the gaps between boulders are cemented all the way out to the end), I stuck to the sand. Some observer I am--only the defensive shifting of these little birds let me know they were there. (There are at least five in the above photo.)

Semipalmated Plovers. One of the cutest, if not the most cute "sandpiper" ever. (Piping Plovers merely look like a bleached-out version of these, and the color on these will deepen with the oncoming spring.) 

Eye-catching red algae.

American Oystercatchers! (+ Herring Gull)

I can't ID shorebirds to save my life and to make it worse, these weren't doing anything. (Behavior can often get you at least part of the way, if not all the way, to a positive identification. For instance, Purple Sandpipers like to pick through the rocks in the surf line of a jetty... Sanderlings chase waves and are chased by the waves up and down the beach... Dowitchers feed like sewing machines along marshes... These were just standing there. Bah!)

[My flock of peeps--all these insane birders I happen to know--to the rescue!!! Thank you, Sam. Red Knot. Awesome. And not one with a band. Hmmm...]