Debbie and I were up with the sun as usual. It was a double sunrise and was a sign to me the day would be a scorcher. So, it just made since to head for the lagoons hoping a breeze would be blowin’. Making sure we had plenty of water, both cameras and back-up batteries off we went to see the birds we see.
Debbie is still a little Bob-Cat shy but being the trooper she is, she found a place in the open where she could keep an eye out and left no cover for a mean and nasty wildcat to sneak up on her. Besides, it’s great strategy to let the birds come to you sometimes.
I was really keen to get some photographs of a Snowy Plover I’d tried to shoot there the other day. These little guys are quick on their tiny litte feet, much more so than me in my sandals. So off I went looking for them where they had been a few days ago.
I’m just walking over a little sand dune and I hear a loud peeping squak. I had accidentally surprised a bird and it flew a few yards and landed. NEW BIRD!…………Large sized, black back and bright orange bill. Well I be………..It’s an American Oystercatcher. Not a Black Oystercatcher, which is mostly all black, but an American Oystercatcher which has a white underside. After a little game of “let me get closer” which I was loosing, the bird stops walking away for a moment and struck a pose.
Oystercatchers are chunky birds that have laterally flattened, heavy bills that can reach into mollusks and pry open the shell. They also probe for worms and crabs. After the pose, this bird was outta there.
Down the dune I go searching for a Plover. I see some action at the lagoon’s edge. A really fast flying small gull or tern-like bird is feeding minnows to another bird like itself on the ground. Way too far for a photo so off I go trying to act like I don’t exist so’s not to scare the bird away. It’s happening again! Zowey wowey…….another NEW BIRD! What a day!
At first I’m not sure what it is. I take a far away shot just in case it flys off for good. As I get a little closer, close enough for a possible decent shot, I can tell it’s a little Least Tern. I’ve tried to photograph these birds we see at the lagoons before. They are sooo quick. This is the bird that was being fed, I guess by dad or a very generous mate.
Least Terns are the smallest North American Terns. They are great fun to watch catching baitfish displaying amazing speed and acrobatics. With a high-pitched dip and a chir-ee-eep they’re speeding overhead.
I look over where Debbie was and I see she’s up and around. She’s busy photographing an Osprey that has a fish. (you’ll see these fantastic shots some other time). I head for the car feeling kinda sorry I didn’t see any Snowy Plovers. They seemed to be all over the place a few days ago. Oh well, it is a great birding day. Two new birds, weather is cool and gentle.
Here I am, poking along in the sand with my head down for no particular reason and I look up. Gee-maneese…….I’m surrounded by Snowy Plovers! Am I dreaming or something? No, they are here. Almost running me over. I think I took more than 100 shots I was having so much fun. Look at this cool (sorry) bird. The Snowy Plover.
Snowy Plover’s calls include a Krut and a soft , whistled Kuwheet. They inhabit sandy beaches and flats.