Back to Doran State Park

Jeff and Debbie hadn’t arrived from Fresno when we first drove down to Bodega Bay, but we discovered they wanted to visit while there.  Leslie and I are always up to a visit to Bodega Bay when we’re in Santa Rosa so we headed back to Doran Beach State Park.  

I wondered if the Snowy Plover we had seen two days before would still be there.  Instead, we were greeted by a flock of what appeared to be Dunlin in non-breeding plumage.

They certainly all looked the same as they flew up and down the beach when people got too close.

I’ll have to admit, though, that I didn’t immediately identify them as Dunlin

because I’m used to seeing them in breeding colors when their striking black chest makes them easy to identify.

As it soon became clear, the flock was made up of several different species, but especially Sanderlings.

I’ll have to admit that I’ve always thought a Dunlin was bigger than a Sanderling, but this shot —and a little reading — revealed otherwise.

Although I didn’t see a single Snowy Plover on our trip down to the point,  I finally spotted one just outside the larger flock of Dunlin and Sanderling on our return trip.  

I wonder if the Snowy Plovers will join the other shorebirds to migrate or if they will actually nest nearby.  They certainly seemed to separate themselves from the flock that we hadn’t seen on our visit a few days ago.  

It’s amazing how much I don’t know about these birds that I’ve been photographing for several years now.   

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.