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.
Willets are shore birds that tend to mind their own business and with their sand coloring it is easy to miss them. As the sun was coming up this one decided to take a stroll away from the water and there was a bit of contrast between him and the hard packed sand. The line shadows behind him were created by a dead tree standing in the ocean surf.
Then he took off, first showing me his patterned underwings…
…then revealing a nice view of his the upper side of his wing, and a cool shadow.
I didn’t capture his shadow in this last image but I did like the driftwood background as the Willet flew away.
An easier to identify shore bird than some due to their pretty rusty colors and calico like pattern, the Ruddy Turnstone breed in the tundra of northern North America but non-breeding Turnstones can be found along most of the eastern and western US coastlines.
I came upon a small flock after Sunday’s Sunrise, and this one was acting like an intrepid adventurer as the tide came in.
Covered in barnacles, there are a number of dead trees that have been knocked over by storms laying in the water here.
The American Oystercatchers I featured in yesterday’s post, American Oystercatchers Flying In, landed fairly close to me but back lit by the just risen sun. I continued down the beach past them, then turned back to see what they were up to.
They were strutting around in the low surf. True to their name, they mostly eat oysters or will probe for other food.
There was no oyster bed here and these two didn’t seem interested in hunting. They soon took off.