Sanibel Island has a reputation for having a lot of shells on the beach. People come to visit to go shell hunting. We must have been there during a down time because all of the beach looked like the above. Mostly small broken shells. I guess all of the good ones get taken during the summer or you have to be there very early in the morning right after a storm. I did manage to find a few small ones though. The sanderlings and black bellied plovers spent a lot of time digging through the shells for tiny critters to eat.
The willet wants to know who left their shoes on the beach. I told him they weren’t mine. I don’t think he believed me.
Black bellied plovers at different stages of molting. The one in the top picture has more black feathers and is still in his summer colors. The bottom one has lost most of his black feathers. He’ll be mostly white through the winter. The middle one was chewing on something yummy.
The ruddy turnstone also had something yummy to eat. The ruddy in the bottom picture still has his summer feathers.
It was strange seeing the osprey in the water with the laughing gulls. I caught him as he was finishing taking a bath. After a few minutes he took off.
A dowitcher walking the shore line.
Birds on the beach and fishing pier at Fort Desoto in late September.
I made a quick trip to Fort Desoto one night after work. I got there right before dark and the shorebirds were already trying to sleep. The sun was going down and they were settling in for the night. The east beach was full of dunlins, dowitchers, sanderlings and the usual terns and gulls.
Look at all that jewelry the piping plover has on.
They are so tiny.
This one only has one anklet on. He looks sleepy. It was early in the morning.
This one has no jewelry on.
This one is a Wilson’s plover.
A sanderling stretching after a morning nap.
It was a quiet morning at Fort Desoto in early September. Not much on the beach but I was excited to see several piping plovers. We don’t see them here often. They must be migrating through. It was a 4 plover morning: Wilson’s, piping, semiplamated and black bellied. Now if only I had seen a snowy. I haven’t seen one there in years.