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.