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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Shore It's a Bird

After volunteering for a beach cleanup at Assateague Island over the weekend, we went to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge to experiment with our recent camera purchases.

These images were taken with the new camera, a Nikon CoolPix P510.

The Snowy Egret is among the most elegant of the herons. Its immaculate white plumage is accented with black legs and brilliant yellow feet. Snowy Egrets wade in shallow water to spear fish and other small aquatic animals. Sometimes they adopt a sit-and-wait technique to capture their food, but usually are very much animated, running back and forth through the water chasing their prey.
 

The Lesser Yellowlegs is a slender, long-legged shorebird that readily shows off the brightly colored legs that give it its name. It is an active feeder, often running through the shallow water to chase its prey.
 

Dowitchers are termed short-billed and long-billed and are most often seen during migration. I'm not sure if this one was short or long-billed.

The Willet one of the most conspicuous large shorebirds.  In summer, Willets are mottled gray, brown, and black; in winter they are a more consistent plain gray. This large group was stationary the whole time we observed them.



Oystercatchers appeared in a large group and skimmed the water looking for a meal, preferably oysters. The American Oystercatcher is a flashy bird. Its size, striking plumage, and large red bill make it particularly recognizable, especially compared to the subtle, well-camouflaged plumages of most shorebirds.
 
We saw several more species during our visit — enough for another post.

10 comments:

Anvilcloud said...

You got some good reflections, particularly of the dowitcher.

Montanagirl said...

Hi Beatrice = Lovely photos. I have never seen an Oyster Catcher. Just wondering on your I.D. of the really long billed bird (5th and 6th photos): I think that might be a Godwit.

Sandra said...

great shots and they look very much like their Florida cousins. i love the reflection that looks like pretzel legs

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

YOUR photos make we want to find a beach somewhere and dig my toes in the sand.

Country Gal said...

Fantastic photos ! Thanks for sharing . Have a good day !

Out on the prairie said...

Fun shots, your new cameras do well

Daisy said...

Great pictures! I bet they were fun to watch.

grammie g said...

Hi B... Wow wonderful!! I just love the shore birds!!
Your Snowy Egret shots are great!!
Grace

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Correction on one of the bird IDs in this post and THANKS to Mona (Montanagirl) for correctly noting that what was listed as a long-billed dowitcher is a godwit. These shorebirds are similar and the major difference is the coloring on their bills.

DeniseinVA said...

Beautiful bird photos! I love to look at them. Hopefully soon as we will be heading down for my father-in-laws last WWII reunion. They have been having them for 50 years but everyone is getting pretty frail these days.

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