Summer Shorebirds

There isn’t much going on bird-wise in mid-summer besides shorebirds. It is nice to have an opportunity to really focus on a single group of birds. Here are a few images from recent weeks.

IMG_0796
This Long-billed Dowitcher, to the right of the Killdeer, really caught my eye since she was still in nearly pristine breeding plumage.
IMG_0808
The bright cinnamon color goes all the way down through the undertail coverts. This bird was at Jackson Bottom Wetlands.

IMG_0832
more Long-billed Dowitchers at Jackson Bottom. These birds are already fading into their duller winter plumage.

IMG_0813
Spotted Sandpiper, still in breeding plumage, perched on a spotted log

IMG_0826
From the cuteness department comes this fuzzy baby Killdeer. Seeing a young Killdeer with his single breast band this late in the summer might suggest a Semipalmated Plover. But the fluffy plumage and the long legs (not to mentions the tiny wings) let us know we are looking at a fledgling.

IMG_0839
Take the time to look at shorebird specimens whenever you have the chance. The first thing you will notice is just how small these birds are. Since we usually look at shorebirds through powerful optics, we tend to think they are actually larger than they are. (A Least Sandpiper is a little smaller than a House Sparrow.) Here we have a nice comparison of a Greater and a Lesser Yellowlegs. Note the differences in the proportions of the bills.

IMG_0814
A trip to the coast provided good numbers of Semipalmated Plovers, seen here with a Western Sandpiper.

IMG_0819
Several hundred Marbled Godwits spent a couple of weeks at the beach in Fort Stevens State Park.

blue small
Dragonflies provide a nice burst of color in the summer. I believe this a Blue Dasher, but please correct me if I am wrong.

8 spot
Eight-spotted Skimmer

black-tailed small
This Black-tailed Deer was behind the visitor center at Jackson Bottom.

Shorebird migration will be the big thing for another few weeks, but it will be gull season before you know it.

This entry was posted in mammals, seasonal movements and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Summer Shorebirds

  1. Emma says:

    Lovely shorebirds! Had they migrated there for your summer, or are they on their way somewhere else at this time of year?

    • John Rakestraw says:

      Spotted Sandpipers and Killdeer nest locally, but the others have nested farther north and are currently passing through on their way south.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s