Tuesday, May 24, 2011

So I saw a couple shorebirds...

I haven't had the heart to visit Cape May for the spring shorebird migration for a while now; probably it's been almost 10 years, in fact.

However, the chance to share the spectacle with someone who hadn't ever witnessed it motivated me enough to bear the chance of a broken heart for what's been lost on the Delaware Bayshore in recent years.

I was so hoping to find more than a memory there. And we were lucky to be there on a day when the moon and the tides were in our favor... and there were thousands and thousands of shorebirds!

These first couple pics are mostly Semipalmated Sandpipers, I think. I could spend the next couple weeks trying to separate them from the Sanderlings I think I know so well.

What I hope you'll take away from these pics is the sheer abundance of birds gathered there to feed and rest.

For all the denying I like to do about shorebirds, their beauty is hard to counter. Conveniently, in spring, they're all decked out in their finest and mostly like to huddle together with their own kind, making ID easier. These are Dunlin. Aren't they beautiful?

: )

And we found Red Knots, thank goodness! Counters estimated 5,000 in the area of Reed's Beach that day and while I was glad for our good timing in being there on the day that they were finally "in", the truth behind that 5,000 is not so heartening as it might seem...

More another day.

5 comments:

NCmountainwoman said...

Absolutely amazing photographs! I've never seen such sights. I am intrigued by the relationship between the Red Knots and Horshoe Crabs.

Rabbits' Guy said...

Wow! Sometime give us some explanation and a link or two to explore the Delaware Bayshore situation. I am only vaguely familiar with what the problems are there.

Floridacracker said...

Neat!
I see those congregatons in the winter mostly.

Ruth said...

What a great sight to see so many shorebirds together!

amarkonmywall said...

Would did you go with, huh? That's one big glomp of shorebirds. Love the Red Knots! It's fortunate that these little guys are so durable in the face of duress.