Friday, August 24, 2007
Today I was reminded of one reason why I like late summer - juvenile shorebirds. After looking at worn, faded adult shorebirds all July, the first juvenile shorebirds (like the juvenile Western above) of the summer are a joy to behold. Their crisp patterns and bright colors make them truly beautiful. I got to see plenty at Upper Newport Bay this morning. There were thousands of shorebirds there - mostly common ones such as Western Sandpipers and Black-bellied Plovers, but I also picked out three Red Knots and a ghostly-looking leucistic Willet. Other interesting birds there included Pied-billed, Western, and Eared Grebes, Black Skimmers, and a couple California Gnatcatchers. On the way home I stopped at San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary quickly to see what was around. There wasn't much, but the few shorebirds there put on a good show at close range. That's where I took the photo of the juvenile Western Sandpiper, and a couple Red-necked Phalaropes were nice to see as well.