Coming of fall & shorebirds

Whimbrels

Whimbrels

I know it’s still summer (Northern Hemisphere) and we’re getting more sunshine during the day (summer fog nearly gone). But we’re also starting to feel just a nip in the air especially in the evening. Autumn is on its way. In anticipation of the change of season, I thought I’d share with you a few of our fall/winter shoreline visitors, such as these whimbrels. I anticipate I’ll see more of these shorebirds in the coming weeks and months. These shots were taken on beach walks from February through July.

Endangered snowy plovers

Endangered snowy plovers

Snowy plovers are hard to spot and had to be pointed out to me (otherwise I probably would have missed them or maybe stepped on them). Aren’t they hard to see? Blending is great for hiding from predators, but you can see why they’re so vulnerable to beach activities.

 

 

Avocet

Avocet

This singular avocet was a rare treat. I believe they’re more common in Elkhorn Slough than the open coast of Monterey Bay.

 

 

 

 

Godwit

Godwit

 

The marbled godwit is one of the larger shorebirds I see, often among a group of whimbrels. Their two-toned bill is unmistakable.

 

 

Sanderlings

Sanderlings

 

I always love watching busy, bustling sanderlings. They’re movement is an illusion — they appear to roll as they run on their two short legs.

 

 

 

Crow acting like shorebird

Crow acting like a shorebird

 

 

 

I know this last bird is not a shorebird. Yet I see crows whenever I walk the beach and they’re always probing the sand for sand crabs. Given this active feeding behavior, they sure act like shorebirds. They’re also always interesting to watch as they work the beach. And so I’m including them here. I hope you enjoy the change of season wherever you are.

About Chris Parsons

A science writer/educator exploring and sharing nature with words and photos to connect, inspire and conserve.
This entry was posted in California coastline, Monterey Bay, Sandy beach and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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