Photos from a trip to the beach…a cold trip to the beach! A Harbor Seal looked at us and seemed to be wondering what we were doing in the cold wind without the benefit of blubber. Humans!
And there was a Northern Gannet soaring well offshore.
Red-throated Loons are fairly common sights this winter. They don’t have a red throat at this time of year though. They are smaller and more gracile than the Common Loon.
There was an interesting small flock of mixed shorebirds on the beach. They took flight together and made a couple of passes in front of the beach before disappearing further along the shore. There was one larger Black-bellied Plover hanging out with a group of Dunlins and Sanderlings.
The size and beak differences between a Dunlin and the Plover are very clear in this flight shot. And the distinctive black “armpit” of the Black-bellied Plover shows nicely.
Also easy to distinguish in this flight photo are the bill and coloration differences between a Dunlin and a Sanderling. Look at the droopy long bill of the Dunlin versus the straight short bill of the Sanderling.
The Plover should continue heading for warmer regions, but the Dunlins and Sanderlings will stay with us for the winter.