Category Archives: Shore Birds

Dance of Light

Working with images that have sparkly water is a challenge and I don’t take nearly as many as I used to, knowing they’ll likely get deleted.

Ruddy Turnstones on Sand Bar
Ruddy Turnstones on Sand Bar

This day on our water trip to see the baby pelicans our captain commented how he always liked to see the sparkles, and how the light dance on the water appealed to him.

Ruddy Turnstones on Sand Bar
Ruddy Turnstones on Sand Bar

A pair of Ruddy Turnstones on a just exposed sandbar gave me a bit of a subject so I took a few shots.

Ruddy Turnstones on Sand Bar
Ruddy Turnstones on Sand Bar

A little further on a clump of grass growing from another sandbar caught my eye.

Grass Isle in Sparkly Water
Grass Isle in Sparkly Water

Kiawah River
June 2, 2022

Nesting Oystercatcher

American Oystercatchers make “divot” nests, basically a depression in the ground which in this case was a mound of shells.

Oystercatcher on Nest
Oystercatcher on Nest

While one adult sat on the nest the other paced around…

Oystercatcher on Nest, Mate on Walkabout
Oystercatcher on Nest, Mate on Walkabout

…what else is there to do until the young hatch?

Oystercatcher on Walkabout
Oystercatcher on Walkabout

I didn’t get a very good picture of the overall scene, but this gives you an idea of how vulnerable these birds are.

Oystercatcher on Nest, Mate on Walkabout
Oystercatcher on Nest, Mate on Walkabout

Marsh edge of Kiawah River, SC
June 1, 2022

Black-necked Stilt Fly-by

A pair of Black-necked Stilts swooped on by me as I stood on a dike at Orlando Wetlands.

Pair of Black-necked Stilts in Flight
Pair of Black-necked Stilts in Flight

Often described as “stately” due to their color scheme and long legs, they are also elegant flyers.

Pair of Black-necked Stilts in Flight
Pair of Black-necked Stilts in Flight

And fly they did, right on to the other side of this impoundment.

Pair of Black-necked Stilts in Flight
Pair of Black-necked Stilts in Flight

April 10, 2022

American Oystercatchers, Bulls Island

A pair of American Oystercatchers were standing on a dike between two brackish ponds, with no oysters in sight for their breakfast.

American Oystercatchers
American Oystercatchers

They didn’t stay long, and is sometimes the case when photographing birds in flight, they were too close to cut one out of the picture, and too far apart to make a really pleasing composition. But it is birds in flight and you can see their eyes so I went with it.

American Oystercatchers In Flight
American Oystercatchers In Flight

One of the birds was banded, a project of The American Oystercatcher Working Group (http://amoywg.org/).

American Oystercatcher In Flight
American Oystercatcher In Flight

Bulls Island is an uninhabited 5000 acre barrier island off the coast of South Carolina with multiple ecosystems including maritime forest, fresh and brackish water impoundments and salt marsh.

April 2, 2022

Ring-billed Gull Snagging Lunch

I spotted this Ring-billed Gull just before he hit the water.

Ring-billed Gull Face Plant
Ring-billed Gull Face Plant

There wasn’t much of a splash and the gull’s wings never went under the surface.

Ring-billed Gull Face Plant
Ring-billed Gull Face Plant

One powerful beat of his wings and he was up.

Ring-billed Got A Fish
Ring-billed Got A Fish

A small splash and he was away.

Ring-billed Liftoff With Fish
Ring-billed Liftoff With Fish

Wasting no time, he sped off before one of the other circling gulls or terns noticed his catch.

Ring-billed Liftoff With Fish
Ring-billed Liftoff With Fish

Donnelley Wildlife Management Area, SC
December 25, 2021