Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

August 28, 2010

On the Beach with Sea Birds

I was very tempted to name this blog post “It’s bleedin’ sea bird flavored” after the famous Monty Python sketch, but I thought that might give the wrong impression of what you will see in this post!  (By the way, I chose not to imbed the video due to a wee bit of bad language spoken by John Cleese.  It is quite funny, so go ahead and click on it; I just didn’t want to get any type of “rating” on this blog.  I don’t know just how that stuff works.)  Now, for our regularly scheduled program.

In addition to the great blue heron, Hills Beach is populated with many other photogenic sea birds, and not just the gulls that we all see everywhere from the shore to the parking lot of McDonald’s.  Sandpipers and plovers were all over the place at low tide, quickly scurrying around to eat up little bits of food in the tide pools and shallow waves.
pipin' and ploven'

I would always get confused as to which were the pipers and which were the plovers.  Luckily, the cottage that we stayed in had a nice birding guide with great pictures for identifying birds.  I remember now that the sandpipers are the ones with the long, pipe-like beaks:

And plovers have the short beaks, and are related to killdeer, (what a terrible name!) :

I also had the pleasure of seeing a snowy plover, which I thought was one of the sweetest looking little birds I’d ever seen:
snowy plover

That breakwater that I took you for a walk along was also a roosting spot for some terns and a duck:
duck and terns

sea duck

I wonder what that duck is about to scoop up?  I also wonder if this is also a tern:

It was much smaller than a gull and didn’t appear to be juvenile.  Any ideas?  Tracy?

In addition to the sea birds, the yards around the cottage were very friendly to the more common birds we see everywhere in the northeast such as the sparrows, chicadees and even the hummingbirds (which of course I didn’t get a picture of).  There were many birdfeeders and birdhouses along the small lawn area of the cottage and surrounding houses.
busy birdfeeders

Many of the birdhouses were occupied with baby birds.  Busy parents spent a lot of time flying back and forth feeding the little ones:

(Sorry that one isn’t a little clearer – I took it through a screen so that I didn’t disturb the scene.)  Looks like a nice, tasty grub the babies are so eager to eat! Yummy!  Speaking of hungry birds:

The girls have a tradition at the end of vacation of feeding the gulls any leftover bread items that we won’t be taking home with us.  It never fails to attract a crowd.


I guess the birds weren’t the only ones who were hungry! Gee, you might think I never feed the kid.  All part of being 13, I suppose!

ETA: I just realized that I tagged this post with “cormorant” and never included my cormorant shot.  Sorry for skipping you, cormorant!



  1. Oh, I like that snowy plover too and I don’t even like birds, LOL!! It looks kind of like a puffin.

    I like the shot of the birds with the hammock in the foreground. What a nice relaxing afternoon.

    Comment by JenniferA — August 29, 2010 @ 11:26 am | Reply

  2. Thank you – mighty nice of you, knowing your distaste for birds.

    Comment by Karma — August 29, 2010 @ 11:38 am | Reply

  3. You really found a LOT of birds to photograph! That snowy plover is so cute!
    (Thanks for the link to my killdeer post! 🙂 I agree, it’s an awful name. Whoever came up with THAT?!)

    Comment by thedailyclick — August 29, 2010 @ 12:10 pm | Reply

    • Those birds weren’t always as content to sit still and be photographed as I would have liked, but yes we had lots! I wish I could’ve gotten closer to the snowy plover. I guess I could have cropped it to make it look as though I did!

      Comment by Karma — August 29, 2010 @ 12:54 pm | Reply

  4. What a wonderful selection of birds to choose from! I enjoyed looking at them all. I have to agree about the snowy plover. Very cute.

    I always thought killdeer was a terrible name, too. We have a family of them that next near our wildflower meadow every year and I love watching the babies.

    Comment by Robin — August 29, 2010 @ 12:34 pm | Reply

    • I’d love to see some pictures of the killdeer babies if you have some!

      Comment by Karma — August 29, 2010 @ 12:55 pm | Reply

      • I do but will have to hunt for them. I’ll try to post one this week.

        Just noticed my typo up there. That should be “nest near our wildflower meadow” but I think you figured that out. 🙂

        Comment by Robin — August 29, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

  5. Love your bird shots! I really enjoy bird-watching, too. I have a few Biddeford Pool bird shots that I will share sometime in the future.

    btw – I’m logged in and it still doesn’t link to my blog. Oh well.

    Comment by Becky Sue — August 30, 2010 @ 9:02 am | Reply

    • When you leave a comment, have you ever filled in a space on a line with your blog address? When you first leave comments you usually have the opportunity to add your blog address on the third line after adding your name and email address. If you haven’t, try logging out and filling all three lines. You deserve to have a link to your place too! 😉

      Comment by Karma — August 30, 2010 @ 9:23 am | Reply

      • I’ll try it. My link shows up on other blogs just not this one. huh.

        Comment by Becky Sue — September 2, 2010 @ 10:06 pm

  6. What a nice post! You know I LOVE birds and you found all sorts on your vacation! No idea on that tern…looks like it could be one that is molting??

    Comment by milkayphoto — August 30, 2010 @ 10:55 am | Reply

    • Thank you – one birdy blogger said it might actually be a black tern, but he wasn’t sure.

      Comment by Karma — August 30, 2010 @ 10:52 pm | Reply

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