Lots of Shorebirds

The birds may be quiet inland, but the shorebirds are continuing to migrate through our area in good numbers. Yellowlegs are common, like this Lesser Yellowlegs.

Two photos of Yellowlegs in flight. The tail looks like one of those fancy fans when it spreads out for landing.

The most interesting migrants are pretty scarce and often can only be seen at a distance. I did get pictures of a Stilt Sandpiper, a Black-bellied Plover and a Golden Plover that were fine for identification purposes but not that good for display. This picture of a Pectoral Sandpiper is a little better.

These are Semipalmated Plovers hanging out in the wrack line at Sandy Point. The two in the bottom photo look they have put on a bit of weight for the migration flight.

Shorebirds will take flight as a group when they sense danger from a falcon or other threat. They fly in a swirling pattern called a murmuration. They constantly change direction in unison and the shifting colors and motion confuse the predator. Although sometimes they seem to do it for no reason. This is a photo with five different species of bird, three of which are in the murmuration. There are three Semipalmated Sandpipers flying at the bottom and two Semipalmated Plovers with their distinctive collars flying above. The slightly larger bird flying at the upper right is a Pectoral Sandpiper. On the ground, minding their own business, are two Greater Yellowlegs and a Green-winged Teal snoozing through the whole thing.

Some of the non-shorebirds in the same pools were this Double-crested Cormorant and some Snowy Egrets. One of the egrets is jumping around to stir up small fish so it can grab them for lunch. It may be spreading its wings to shade the water and get a better view of the fish.

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