So many birds on the Dunedin causeway when I went for a drive on a cold early morning in late February. At first it looked like they were all dowitchers but I found a few other birds mixed in. They were feeding along the rack line on the north side of the causeway were its rocky along the water.
A few tiny sanderlings were mixed in with the dowitchers.
You can always find a willet here.
There were dunlins mixed in with the crowd. They looked drab here in their winter colors without the brown and black feathers they have during the summer.
Someone walked by and spooked them (not many people walk this side of the causeway). I was taking most of these from my car.
They were all feeding together in large groups. The dowitchers seem to favor the newer greener seaweed. The dunlins were feeding in the older brown seaweed.
Several times they would all take off and circle back to the same spot. There were also a few ruddy turnstones in the mix with those orange legs.
The usual shore birds were at the fishing pier in early April. There was a large variety of them hanging out together including those large ring billed gulls in the middle. They make the other birds seem so small.
There were a lot of royal terns on the beach. The two above with the orange beaks looked like they were flirting. They were standing at attention among the sandwich terns, common terns and willets.
They were definitely flirting. Walking back and forth together, almost like slow dancing. Their little black toupees were standing up.
Then we knew for sure they were flirting. The poor couple didn’t have any privacy although the willets weren’t really paying attention. It looked more like a game of leap frog than actual mating though.
They danced around again for a while as that kittiwake was keeping an eye on us.
They tried again but I don’t think she was really in the mood.
As I was leaving I noticed the crowd had thinned out. Everyone was here to see the kittiwake but there was so much more going on.
I love being out in the fog so when I peaked out the window in mid-February I got ready quickly and headed out the door for a walk on the Dunedin causeway. It kept getting foggier as the morning went on. I guess the sea fog was rolling in. The tide was super low which made it even cooler.
I had my camera in the car so I pulled it out to get some shots of the oystercatcher couple that was feeding along the causeway. Someone walked up behind me and spooked them to fly to the other side of the causeway.
A few of the other birds included a sanderling, a snowy egret, a marbled godwit and a young ring billed gull feasting on a dead fish.
Later I saw the oystercatchers again and snapped a few more pictures before leaving. They seemed to be having a lot of luck with whatever they were eating (tiny crabs?).
It’s not often we see whimbrels around here. The pair at Fort Desoto have been very accommodating when you can find them. They were right when you walk out on the beach the morning I found them in late October, feeding along the grass line before the sand.
It was extreme low tide and the buoys were exposed. The ruddy turnstones were picking tiny crabs off of them for breakfast.
This willet also found some breakfast.
The little tiny shorebirds are so cute creeping around in the muck. A snowy plover and a sanderling.
Skimmers cruising by.
Something spooked the birds way out on the sandbar.
There’s something magical about being out on the beach at low tide early in the morning. There aren’t many people out and you can walk forever and feel like you are out in the middle of the gulf.
Dead Australian pine tree graveyard on the beach. The stumps have all been smoothed down by the water and have been bleached out by the sun.