Monday, May 12, 2014

Fun Shorebirds at Stinson Beach

After spending time with the birds on the deck, I enjoyed a walk on the beach in search of shorebirds. Stinson Beach isn't exactly warm in February.  There is generally a cold wind blowing off the ocean that makes you appreciate your jacket.
Despite the chill, I took most of these photos lying down in the sand and feeling giddy about it.  How could I not?  This isn't something I get to do everyday!  A marbled Godwit, above and below.  Don't you just love that pink bill?
The Marbled Godwit breeds in northern prairies in the US and Canada and winters along the coast of California and western Mexico.  It feeds on crabs, bristle worms and small bivalves that it extracts from the ocean water and sand with that long probing bill.
A Whimbrel, above and below, a large shorebird in the curlew family, and another inhabitant of shores, mudflats, marshes, prairies and tundra.
Amazingly, Whimbrels visit the coastal shores of North America in the winter and breed in artic and subartic areas.  Some travel as far as 2500 miles without stopping.
Whimbrels forage the beach in search of marine invertebrates, including crabs, other crustaceans, marine worms and mollusks.  Sometimes they grab them as they tumble in the tide, other times, they probe in the sand with their uniquely curved bill.

A bird with spectacular markings.
The waves look gigantic from this perspective, don't they?
Above and below, a Willet also walks the tide foraging.  
A special way to enjoy the beach!

Visit all my posts on Stinson Beach, California

Cornell All About Birds:
Marbled Godwit

1 comment:

  1. It looks like such a lovely place to walk. Yes and I know the thought of being at the ocean, makes you think warm, not so much on the Pacific coast much of the year~


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