Black-Bellied Plovers

It’s been a very strange Spring here, and I somehow managed  to miss the peak of the Spring shorebird migration. Luckily, I’ve twice managed to get shots of migrating shorebirds before the big migration started.  I’ve already posted shots of Dunlins and others, but I was hoping to get a better shot of a Black-Bellied Plover in breeding plumage before posting any shots of them.  Unfortunately, my Monday trip was  totally washed out, despite a much more optimistic forecast.  Resigned to the fact that this 

is the best shot I’m going to get of a Black-Bellied Plover in almost full breeding colors this year, I’m going to focus, instead, on some shots I got of one in the midst of changing from winter plumage to breeding plumage.

I got these shots at Fort Flagler nearly a month ago.  I’m pretty sure this is one of the small flock of plovers that overwintered there.  It must have adjusted to the presence of people because I’ve never managed to get this close to a plover before (which probably explains why I try so hard to get a good shot of them).  

I must have photographed this bird nearly a half hour as it fed

and flew up and down the beach in front of me.

In the past I’ve always tried to focus on the striking black patch on their belly that gives them their name, so until I got these shots I’d never realized just how beautiful their wing pattern is. 

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