Hello! Most of my posts take place around San Diego County, (Mostly Lake Murray) unless otherwise noted.
For more posts and photos, I also post on Hubpages, a site that is a bit different than others. Thanks!: Shorebirdie on Hubpages

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Shorebird Counting

This is the third year I've done shorebird counting on New Year's day at the San Diego South Bay.  This year, I went at a rising tide early in the morning.  The weather was mostly cloudy, but not foggy like last year.  I also didn't walk as far as usual because I was carrying a scope and tripod (which I dropped once, but it was OK).

**Yes, I know that some of the photos say "2012" on it.  I was watermarking them and my fingers aren't used to typing 2013, so several of them were mismarked, but I didn't want to go back and change them.

Willets and godwits were plentiful.  Though I saw many willets socializing with individual godwits, I did not see the special willet-godwit pair that I've seen the last two years.

This godwit was itchy:

I saw hundreds of western sandpipers, but only about a dozen least sandpipers:

Lots and lots of them:

 A good mess of northern pintails, too (and a ton of wigeons which I didn't get any good photos of):

In this next photo, though it's hard to see are several snowy egrets, a reddish egret, Bonaparte's gull, and two types of merganser.  I didn't even know I got a picture of the reddish egret or the mergansers when I took this photo.

These willets, godwits, and dowitchers were all feeding peacefully here:

When a Cooper's hawk went on the attack and tried to attack some coots and other birds along the shore.

The willets and the black-bellied plovers nearby made sure they sounded the alarm until she was gone:

A few greater yellowlegs were around:

One friendly killdeer.  I think I only saw 5 of the 30 I usually see there:

An unusual sight, a white pelican.  They are usually inland freshwater birds:

And, hundreds of black brant.

At lot of them:

Seriously, a lot:

And, lots of eared grebes, too.

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