My First Dunlin – Day 13

I can’t even begin to tell you how over the MOON I feel after seeing my very first Dunlins today!!


And it was another one of those raw, cold, gray winter days when I ALMOST blew off my walk.

Am I ever glad, I didn’t.

A HUGE flock of Sanderlings feeding among the gulls greeted me as I stepped onto Bank Street Beach.

They made me forget everything.

Everything but THEM.

Them, and their glorious flight, their playfulness and liveliness against a cold, iced-in landscape.


And then I spotted something different.

These two tiny birds along the shoreline that caught my attention.


They were “browner” than the Sanderlings, with longer “curvier” bills.

And so connected to each other as they searched for food along the shore among the mounds of slipper shells.


There was such a “friendliness” about the two, a kind of curiosity.

They didn’t seem as skittery with my presence as the Sanderlings, who kept flying off.

In fact they actually seemed as interested in me, as I was in them.


All I know is, these two tiny birds filled my world today with sunshine, color and light.

On a day when I so did not want to face “the grays”.


Thank you, Little Ones.

Be warm, cuddle each other close thru’ this night.

And be well.  ❤ ❤

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My Mystery Shore Bird – July Sighting, Forest Beach

I came upon a small flock of shore birds the other morning.

As the group scootled in and out among the waves, I thought at first they might be Sanderlings, out looking for breakfast.

But as I got closer, it seemed that these birds were “browner”, and more scallop-feathered than the gray-black-white palette of the Sanderlings.


And if it’s possible, they moved even more quickly than Sanderlings, which is no small feat.

Rarely, did I ever capture more than one of them in focus.   😉


This one might look like it’s dozing, but after spending some time with these birds I began to wonder if they ever sit still, let alone sleep!  😉


I am thinking it could be the Red-necked Stints, or even perhaps the Little Stints.

If anyone out there thinks they might know what kind of bird this is, please leave me a comment with your ideas.

But whoever they are…


I am totally smitten…  ❤

To Everything Tern, Tern, Tern

So many of my new bird discoveries seem to happen when I am searching for something else.

About two weeks back, I was scanning the beach for the Piping Plover chicks down at Red River Beach.

Stretching my legs after a long squat, I noticed up the shore a small group of terns had come in for a landing.


Our smallest terns, the Leasts measure only about 8 or 9 inches and have yellow bills and legs as compared to the Common Terns that measure 12-15 inches and have red bills and legs (and differently shaped black face masks).

But I had never seen one up close before.

One pair that was nearest to me, didn’t seem to mind me staring.


In fact, they appeared to be oblivious to any of the other birds and luckily, to me.


Now terns are famous for their aerial and vocal displays during courtship.

This pair was engaged in the loveliest series of movements that I could only describe as a “dance”.


With yoga-like movements and poses, the male was slowly orbiting around his mate who held the center of an invisible circle.


Sometimes she would move as well, and both would strike a pose that was not only beautiful in its symmetry…

But also appeared to be attracting a crowd…  😉


Neither bird was in a hurry…


Lost…


In a world of their own.


Just then and without any warning the male flew off, winging away out over the water!


Leaving his Lady Love alone on the beach gazing after him, looking more than a bit bewildered.

Was it something I said?


Yet before too long he was back.

And this time, with a delicious sushi picnic!


Feeling that it was time to give them their privacy, I couldn’t help thinking that just weeks ago it seemed my summer was going to be all about the plovers.

Now the terns have joined the mix.


And nothing could please me more.  ❤