Right after we returned from Nevada, Leslie and I headed out to the beach to catch the end of the Fall Shorebird Migration. It was either that or pick up a poetry book, and I didn’t want to miss a single moment of the wonderful Fall we’ve been having so far. Once the rains begin to descend it might be June before we see two sunny days in a row again, plenty of time to read poetry books.
I’d been reading about recent bird sightings at Ocean Shores, so I thought we’d start the day there. What I didn’t hear was that the State allowed a special, early duck hunting weekend and a man and his two kids were blasting away when we finally arrived at the pond. Needless to say, there weren’t any shore birds in sight (though, as it turned out, I was told later in the day that after the hunters left the shorebirds did show up).
We settled for seeing a small flock of Brown Pelicans, still in summer breeding colors as they flew up the beach line while we were walking back to our car.
We even were lucky enough to even see some of them dive for fish, like these two.
Afterwards we headed up to the jetty, hoping to finally sight the Surfbird that I’ve never managed to see yet. Once again we were foiled by some major waves, making it nearly impossible to walk out on the jetty with risking life and limb.
Instead, we settled for walking the wind-protected side of the jetty, where we spotted Harbor Seals and surfers taking advantage of the high waves. This somewhat less adventurous Sanderling (I’m pretty sure it’s a Sanderling fading from breeding plumage to winter plumage, but I wouldn’t swear by that) joined us on the lee side of the Jetty,
where we were soon joined by a pair of Black Turnstones in non-breeding colors.
I suspect they thought that if the Sanderling could hang out with us it was safe to land nearby.
Generally the morning was a bit of a disappointment, at least birding wise, but it’s hard to be disappointed with any morning that ends with a Guinness Extra Stout and a "Leroy Special,” fish and green salad at the Galway Bay Irish Restaurant.