Today I will blog about birds for a change.
It was breezy and relatively cool at Bolivar Flats yesterday and this group of Semipalmated Sandpipers and Sanderlings have struck the classic bird-at-rest beach pose, facing into the wind with head turned back and bill buried into the coverts. They all had one leg tucked up to conserve heat, as their legs are the least insulated part of their bodies. Nice size comparison with the two larger sanderlings in the back.
This time of year you may catch a Western Willet in alternate plumage down on the gulf coast. They are mostly moved inland by now, displaced almost entirely by Easterns who came up from South America in the last few months. You can see the patchy presence of the spotty breeding patterns and over-all lighter color. The bill length on this one seems a tad small to me for a western but there are variations from bird to bird and the plumage here is unmistakable.
I felt crabby not getting a better photo of this Magnificent Frigatebird that flew by. This and a very distant American Oystercatcher are both life birds for me. There were 15-20 American Avocets out there too, way inland where hiking is not allowed.
I could not resist checking up on the Clapper families on Old Frenchtown Rd. while I was over there. Here’s mom, and one of the chicks scampering across the road double-time. Note that if this marshy locale was brackish to fresh and not salt, the ID would get really tricky due to similarity to the fresh water King Rail.