A Willet preening at the surf’s edge.
A few Ruddy Turnstones were poking around near the surf as I was waiting for the sunset.
After checking out a small pool this one meandered down the beach.
Their orange legs make Turnstones easy to identify and they have beautiful black and brown patterns.
January 2, 2020
The Merlin Bird ID App says this is most likely a Black-bellied Plover, or possibly an American Golden Plover. South Carolina is well within the winter migration range of both species and both sport a “black belly” during breeding season which happens in the arctic tundra.
The sun was almost down, creating a pink reflection in the receding Atlantic surf.
The Plover came a bit closer to me as I waited watched the sun go down.
The noise of a flock of birds reached my brain as I was concentrating on some Willets in the beach surf. Ah, Skimmers!
I diverted my attention and dropped down to my knees, hoping the flock would show off their skimming skills right in front of me.
Alas, they had other ideas.
And soon disappeared from my sight.
A small flock of Willets stood at the edge of the surf, inching their way inland every few minutes as the tide moved in.
I thought they might take flight, showing off their snazzy wing pattern. They were content to walk, run and hop through the rising water keeping their wings at their sides.
Not just people like walking on the beach.
There’s something about having sand between your toes that is satisfying.
Oystercatcher U5 was reported to the American Oystercatcher Working Group.
The American Oystercatcher Working Group seeks to develop, support and implement range-wide research and management efforts that promote the conservation of Atlantic coast American Oystercatchers and their habitats through individual and partnership-based initiatives guided by recommendations of the Working Group’s membership. http://amoywg.org/
A flock of mostly Black Skimmers with a few terns, gulls and Oyster Catchers mixed in were occupying a sand bar at the edge of the ocean near where the Kiawah River runs into the Atlantic.
As I’ve seen before some signal is received by the birds and they all take off and relocate at once.
This was just past low tide and their real estate was shrinking quickly with the incoming tide. They settled down on the next available spot, dislocating a few pipers.
The terns were more inclined to stay put, not minding the surf lapping at their legs.
Beachwalker Park, Kiawah, SC 9/24/2019
This American Oystercatcher had been standing in the surf. He got a running start then smoothly took off with one full beat of his wings.
It was just after dawn and he was flying directly into the sun, which I think must not affect birds’ eyes the way it does mine.
The incoming tide created a nice series of waves behind the bird.
He let out a squawk for good measure before he disappeared down the beach.
Their calico-cat like coloring sets these shorebirds apart from the others, but their behavior on the beach is a lot like the pipers and other “peeps.”
Standing around in small groups or on their own, they wait for the ocean to reveal something to eat.
Walking along the edge of the surf, this Ruddy Turnstone was proactively looking for a snack, racing ahead of the flowing water.
Botany Bay Island, August 4, 2019.
A large portion of the marsh behind Botany Bay Beach is cordoned off to keep humans from interfering with breeding shore birds. Their nests are nothing more than depressions in the sand and aside from the obvious egg destruction by human feet many of these birds just don’t like to be disturbed by man or his pets while raising their young.
Breeding season was over when I took these images but a few young stragglers were on the beach on August 4th.
This young tern didn’t seem to know what to do. The sun had just come up and he probably should have been looking for breakfast.
An adult was nearby, but I didn’t see them interact.
This may be the same young bird, I spotted a bit further down the beach.