Monday, June 5, 2017

This Spring's Cast of Characters

It's that time of year again - shorebird time on the Delaware Bay. I only got to spend one day on the beach this year due to crappy weather and other commitments. It is the end of the season so most of the endangered Red Knots have already fattened up and left the bay for their arctic nesting grounds. I was fortunate to find a few stragglers including this one. Can you find him in the midst of the mob?

Red Knot
Even though the Red Knots were mostly gone, I did managed to find, photograph and report 29 banded Sanderling and a few Ruddy Turnstones. The best interaction was with a particular female Ruddy Turnstone 9EA. She was working the beach.

Ruddy Turnstone
She was really going to town digging for Horseshoe Crab eggs.

The digging paid off. She was rewarded with yummy eggs. You can see one in her beak.

Crab egg - yum!
But then, she was interrupted by a boyfriend. She was having none of it. She chased him right away!

Leggo my eggo!
Not even a couple yet and already squabbling.

I really like sitting on the beach during shorebird migration. I get to really watch the birds rather than just see them for a brief moment. I can spend hours watching them search for food, squabble, preen and rest. Great stuff.

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