Okay. The relentless storms are over. But I don’t even know how to begin to tell the story of the delightful bird invasion we’ve had around here this past week. The fresh water pooled up on the beach during the rains has been like a magnet for the shorebirds, particularly Black Skimmers and terns, among them many juveniles. They’ve been foraging in whatever little is left of the “beach lake”. (Click on the pictures for larger versions)
Many Black Skimmer parents have been encouraging their teenagers to start flying. That’s been quite amusing to watch. Like this mom and her baby. Mom nudged the baby asking her to practice flying. But she’d only flex her wings halfheartedly. While her pop, a few feet away, would dig in the sand impatiently, and “bark” at her to go up in the air already.
And the beach has been swarming with Royal Terns, Sandwich Terns and gulls. Some practicing synchronized preening. Others fishing. And yet others arguing with their parents.
And the tiny Sanderlings have brought their whole extended family to enjoy the beach.
Where they were mixing with Willets and American Oystercathers. So many birds!
And for the first time ever, I’ve spotted a baby Ruddy Turnstone. She was tentatively examining the beach with her mom fairly close by.
The same has been true for the park next to the salt marsh. Long lines to the smorgasbord at shallow ditches still filled with fresh rainwater. Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Spoonbills, Ibis, Night Herons, you name it. All sharing the rare treat of fresh water.
At the salt marsh, Mama Sandy has taken charge. I guess the Mayor is on vacation as I haven’t seen him since last week.
Sandy has been sitting at the front edge of the nest following the developments with a keen eye. For the most part things have been going smoothly, but I noticed some competition about great scanning posts among the many egrets. At least forty of them.
Sandy also kept an eye on the skies. And when I followed her line of sight, I saw a Red-shouldered Hawk flying high above the marsh.
I was hoping the hawk didn’t spot the ducklings performing synchronized diving in the deep waters.
Rosa, the resident Roseate Spoonbill, had not cared to venture out of the marsh to see her cousins feeding in the remaining floodwaters elsewhere in the park. She was at home, in the shade under the osprey nest as usual.
I hope you enjoyed the many birds saying hello to us here on the beach and at the salt marsh. I’m flying away too for a few days (this is a scheduled post). I’ll try to stay in touch on my mobile devices. In any case I’ll catch up early next week.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend. Remember to enjoy what nature has to offer. Fly high!
54 thoughts on “After the Big Rains. Long Lineup to the Smorgasbord.”
Very nice collection of pictures of these lovely birds…(Suzanne)
Happy you enjoyed meeting the many birds we had visiting this week, Suzanne.
How happy for every one! Incredible photos too!
Thanks Kathy. All the birds loved the fresh water!
I bet they do!
What delightful captures – may they have wind beneath their wings and you have the sun upon your shoulders as you enjoy your weekend of bird watching as the salt marsh returns to its former glory! 🙂
Thank you Joanne! I’m away right now, but hoping the birds will still be there in big numbers when I come back 🙂
You have found some awesome new friends!
Yes, I spotted a few new friends this week. I love the little ones when they’re bravely facing new adventures!
Wonderful photos my friend! Have a great weekend! ❤
Thanks Jackie! Have a good one you too. hugs!
Love the Diving Ducks!
Synchronized – how long did you wait to capture that beauty?
I didn’t wait too long, a few minutes tops. They were funny to watch. Happy you liked their acrobatics, David.
Fantastic captures of these amazing inhabitants! Love the bottoms up pic, and your last photo is so amazing. Have a great trip, Helen. 😀
I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many different birds or so many of one kind as the first half of this week. The last photo was more luck than skill 😳. Thanks Sylvia!
Gorgeous shots, Tiny! Safe travels to you.
Thanks Nancy! Have a great weekend.
Glorious to see all these birds enjoying the leftovers from the storms! Good times for them 🙂
I had no idea how treasured the rainwater would be for them. I could see they were enjoying 🐥
It would make me more patient with bad weather next time it blows through! 🌀
I have to remember that! Just back home last night and the marsh looks more “normal” now…also with fewer birds, only the permanent residents 🙂
Its nice when the tourists go home….
Thanks Bruce, safely back home now!
What a delight of wonderful photographs, the two of the bird diving for its food were fantastic I thought. Have a good time away.
Thanks Susan! Came back home last night…had a blast 🙂
With so much to watch in bird paradise, how so you get anything else done, Tiny? Wonderful.
I’d love to be outside all the time, but have to discipline myself and just look out on the marsh from my office window. Watching and photographing birds doesn’t pay the bills 🙂
Lovey shots of the birds, Tiny. 🙂
Happy you enjoyed the crowds, Celestine 🙂
Sweet Tiny what a wonderful bird haven you have to enjoy. Thank you so much for sharing these amazing pictures. Hugs
Thank you dear Mags! I’m happy to share some of the beauty we have here close by. Sending you love and hugs.
oh my goodness, what a complete and utter joy! Your photos are exquisite, as always, Tiny, and your marsh looks like heaven on earth post-storm. I love that capture of the parent and juv skimmer because the juvenile doesn’t even look like a skimmer, except for that wonderfully crazy bill. And I’m always enjoying any of your spoonbill photos.
Thank you Jet! The Skimmer juveniles have a dark/white pattern, the older ones are darker and the younger ones who are still learning to fly are more whitish. We had so many spoonbills visiting after the rains, now only Rosa, the resident, remains. I came back from travels last night and had to check the marsh at sunrise this morning 🙂
I would have gone crazy with all the birds that you have now! I love it! Great shots Tiny! Have a great weekend! 🙂 ❤
I know. It was wonderful to see such an abundance of birds. I think many of them normally reside on a “bird island” in the bay. I was traveling and just came back last night…and had to check the marsh early today…now back to “normal” 🙂
What an absolute treat for you to see so many birds and what a treat for us to be shown so beautifully some of what you saw.
Thank you! Happy you enjoyed all our visitors! they were probably in hundreds 🙂
Fantastic pictures, Tiny! Superb!
thank you Patrick! Happy you enjoyed.
Yes, always arguing with their parents, aren’t they? But it looks like everyone had fun anyway. 🙂 Wishing you a wonderful weekend too!
The juvenile terns are quite argumentative with their parents, and so amusing to watch!! Have a great week 🙂
Another wonderful post Tiny. I love your terns and skimmers. It is good to see the fast recovery of the birdlife from the storms. I notice more have been hitting your country this week. Thanks again I love your work!
Thank you for your kind comment! The birdlife recovered immediately after the rains stopped, and we had so many visitors, probably from a bird island that is located in the bay. Now everything is back to normal. I came back home from travels last night and checked the marsh early this morning. The water levels are back at normal, residents enjoy peace and quiet now that the visitors are gone 🙂
It looks as if you are in paradise after the rains as well, enjoying getting out among all your bird friends and soaking up all the beach has to offer. The photos of the Royal Terns really caught my eye ~ shot from a great perspective and such a regal birds. Wonderful post and writing.
Thanks for your kind comment, Randall. I like to observe and “shoot” the Royal Terns. They are regal, and also expressive in a quiet way, apart from the juveniles who are quite funny and argumentative 🙂
Such great shots, Tiny! I especially love the one of the lineup with so many different birds together. Your photos always remind me that I should spend more time at the beach … which is only 10 minutes away! I rarely take photos or go birding at the shore, for some reason.
Thank you! I loved the lineups at the rainwater pools. They are now all gone, and the marsh only has its permanent crew. But the beach seems to remain quite busy. You should go to the shore sometimes, maybe you’d be surprised by the variety of birds you’ll find!
How wonderful to see so many fabulous visitors to your area! I loved all the photos, especially the diving ducklings and the rows of egrets! Great job, Tiny, once again. I hope your trip is going well.
Thank you Amy! I came back last night, all went well. First thing this morning, even before my coffee, I went to check out the salt marsh. Everything there is back to normal, water levels are down and the huge number of visitors have returned home (I think they came from a “bird island” in the bay). Now our old friends are happily enjoying peace and quiet 🙂
I am so enjoying the clarity and detail of your photos, Tiny. 🙂
All, fantastic birds!