Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

August 23, 2011

This one’s for the birds

Filed under: For the Birds,Travel — Karma @ 9:44 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’ve found myself drawn to bird photography this year, and Hills Beach was no lack of opportunity for avian shots.  I think most of my photos are of fairly typical shore birds, but I’ve made a selection of some favorites whether it was the bird itself or the situation that interested me.  I can’t begin to work my way through figuring out which birds are which types of pipers or plovers and such – I’m hoping maybe Bob Zeller will pop by and give me some identification help!

First, the easy ones:

young herring gull  The typical “sea gull” found just about everywhere.  Normally I wouldn’t post a gull picture, but this guy just kind of ambled into my shot and I liked it.

On one of my walks, I watched some terns diving for fish:
diving tern

diving tern



Last year, I discovered a great blue heron making its home in a little cove.  I’d hoped to get some closer shots than I managed last year, but Mr. Heron was still playing shy:

blue heron

Did you know they have two-headed ducks in Maine?  Really! Have a look:
two headed duck! ;-)


Speaking of ducks, a pair swam up near to where I was sitting waiting for the sunrise:
sunrise ducks

They waddled up on to the beach, almost as if to say hello:
ducks say hello

“Eh, how you doin’?”

For this shot, I just have to say, “What the duck?”
strange duck

Strange one, no?

My other shore birds of unknown specific names are in that piper/plover category that I always mix up.  Be sure to speak up if you can straighten me out:


These curious little birds would shuffle their feet in the shallow water on the sand bars and stick their beaks into what they shuffled up:
shore birds shuffling feet

They look like little gulls of some sort; here’s how they compare in size to the typical sea gull:
shore birds with gull

I’m going to fly the coop now, but I’ll be watching like a hawk for your wise as an owl comments that I hope will be something to crow about…. okay, I’ll stop now! 😉


  1. Okay, first I will say that sea birds are not my forte as we don’t get many of them out here in west Texas. However, having said that, I do try to learn as much as possible.

    So first of all, here’s where I may get in trouble, by possibly dis-agreeing with you. I think that the one that you say is a young Herring Gull, may very well be a young Ring-bill Gull.

    Now here is where it gets funny. The last pictures at the bottom that you think are just little gulls are actually Little Gulls. That’s right, Karma, that is their real name. Ain’t that a hoot??

    The 3rd picture from the bottom I think is a Black-bellied Plover.

    I believe the 5th picture from the bottom to be some kind of a scoter, I think it is a Black Scoter, but not 100% sure.

    Those other ducks and flying birds, I just can’t see enough of any field marks to make any kind of ID. Of course, you ID’d the heron. 🙂

    This was fun. I hope this helped you out. 🙂

    Comment by Bob Zeller — August 23, 2011 @ 11:26 pm | Reply

  2. P.S. We do have Ring-bill Gulls out here in west Texas. 🙂

    Comment by Bob Zeller — August 23, 2011 @ 11:40 pm | Reply

  3. P.S. Agaom..I am bad. The correct name is Ring-billed Gull. I can’t believe I made that error twice. I must be getting old. 🙂

    Comment by Bob Zeller — August 23, 2011 @ 11:44 pm | Reply

    • Thanks so much for your bird thoughts, Bob. I’m still not sure about the Ring-billed ID: according to the bird ID site I use (Cornell All About Birds), ring-billed are usually inland, freshwater gulls and juvenilles are described as mottled brown all over. This one was definitely gray. The herring and ring-billed do look an awful lot alike though, so I guess we just can’t be sure.
      That is pretty funny about the Little Gulls!

      Comment by Karma — August 24, 2011 @ 8:36 am | Reply

      • You are so right about the similarities of the Ringed-bill and the Herrings. It really is hard to say. 🙂
        My source was the National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Birds of North America. Boy, that’s a mouthful. 🙂

        Comment by Bob Zeller — August 24, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

  4. The first one is my favorite (nice focus and dof), I’m glad you decided to post it 🙂

    Comment by thedailyclick — August 24, 2011 @ 8:48 am | Reply

    • There was just something about that fella (or chicky – I don’t know!) that I liked.

      Comment by Karma — August 24, 2011 @ 2:27 pm | Reply

  5. I, too, am drawn to bird shots. I like #1 because you can really see the clarity in the eyes. It’s fun and funny to watch the terns dive into the water. My mom and I wondered how they escape migraines. Nice captures!

    Comment by Becky Sue — August 24, 2011 @ 9:01 am | Reply

    • Thanks Becky. You’re right, it sure does seem like they hit the water pretty hard!

      Comment by Karma — August 24, 2011 @ 2:28 pm | Reply

  6. Cool shots, Karen! Some challenging subjects to shoot. 🙂

    Comment by tedgriffith — August 24, 2011 @ 11:07 am | Reply

    • Thank you Ted – they were fun to photograph; I was really wishing for a stronger telephoto lens for some of the shots though.

      Comment by Karma — August 24, 2011 @ 2:29 pm | Reply

  7. lol! Your word play is wonderful. Very clever and fun. As are your photos. 🙂

    Herons do tend to be shy creatures.

    Comment by Robin — August 25, 2011 @ 9:21 am | Reply

  8. That’s one of the things I love when I come back from a “birding” outing, is trying to identify all of those I’ve captured… You got a great collection Karen.. My fave by far is the tern just turning in to the dive… Perfectly timed and framed… 🙂

    Comment by FS Photography — August 28, 2011 @ 12:15 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Brian. I’ve taken an interest in bird photography lately and I’ve been trying to learn more about identifying them.

      Comment by Karma — August 31, 2011 @ 4:58 pm | Reply

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