Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Weekend Trip: Part 2


Given that it was a beautifully warm and sunny afternoon, we were surprised to find that the beach at the end of Retilion Road was almost empty of people and vehicles. Luckily, it wasn't empty of birds. 

The water's edge had small groups of Laughing Gulls and Royal Terns, while Ruddy Turnstones, Willets and Short-billed Dowitchers fussed around looking for food.


The occasional Sanderling raced across the sand, legs moving almost too quickly for the eye to register.

The posts that mark the start of the shorebird sanctuary were occupied by Neotropic Cormorants, the edges of their bills outlined in white even though we were still months away from breeding season.

Every few yards we came across Long-billed Curlews, one of our favorite shorebirds.

A solitary Reddish Egret was dashing about in the shallows, trying to scare up fish for its lunch.

Finally, just before we ran out of beach, we came upon the birding highlight of our trip thus far - a thousand American Avocets clustered along the water's edge.

Every so often the Avocets would take fright and rise up in a swirling, flashing cloud of black and white. Magic!


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