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:
gull

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

kersplash

Splash!

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:
piper/plover?

piper/plover?

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! 😉

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:
sandpiper

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

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:
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:
IMG_1092

(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:
IMG_1179

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.

IMG_1180

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!

cormorant