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…  ❤

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The Spaces They Call Home

Even tho’ I am captivated by the birds that I find on my walkabouts, I am equally drawn to the beauty of their environments.


To the spaces they call, “home”.  ❤

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.  ❤

I Found a Pearl

This morning I was down at Red River, creek side, in search of something different.

A real gem, something I’d never seen before.

I’d already been amused by the brants, who are always murmuring about something or other.


And bemused by the buffles who make me think of little rubber duckies as they dive and then pop back to the surface.


I was just turning to head for home when I noticed a bird fly over the channel and land quickly on the other side.

I could tell that it wasn’t the size or flight pattern of a brant.

So I went in for a closer look.


And my oh my! The first thing I noticed was this huge orange bill, gleaming in the sun!


It was beautiful, and I could easily see how it could pry open mussels and oysters with no trouble at all.


In fact this fellow was on the hunt to do just that!


I had to work hard to keep up with him as he trotted this way and that along the shore…


Poking through the shells in the hopes of finding a scrumptious treat.


The last I saw of him he was visiting with the brants.

I do not know if my new friend ever found his oyster.


But I headed for home, knowing that I’d found just the pearl I was looking for.

Please note: Oystercatchers here in Massachusetts generally migrate sometime in October. We are hoping that this beautiful individual will be catching his flight soon!  😉