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Friday, December 7, 2012

Phalaropes at your feet

On the road tonight, but I can't resist posting a few images of Red Phalaropes (Phalaropus fulicarius) photographed this morning at Doran Beach (just inside the North Jetty).

This was an amazing opportunity to see a species that's normally much further offshore.  (I'm guessing the recent storms and windy conditions blew them inshore.) There were at least four birds in the surf zone next to the beach!  Sometimes they swam within a few feet of me.

The individuals varied in how much black there was on the head and also the amount of orange at the base of the bill.

It was interesting to watch their various strategies when a wave approached.  Sometimes they swam up and over the wave, other times they dove through and emerged on the other side, and occasionally they took to the air and flew up and over.

Here are two shots of birds emerging from a dive through the waves.

And two more of birds in flight.  It was a great chance to see their wing patterns note the bold white wing stripes.

I don't know how long these birds will stay in the area, but if you're at Doran Beach, it would be worth looking for them!

1 comment:

Claudia said...

One thing I love about your photos... What is sometimes an awkward-looking photo (professionally speaking) can be a great natural history shot (professionally speaking).

I love the shots of the phalaropes underwater!