Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri), Bodega Harbor, 4 July 2013
I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for sandpipers. Because they're so beautiful. Because they live in habitats that I connect with. Because I've enjoyed watching them with such wonderful people. Because their migrations are so awe-inspiring.
Remarkably, the Western Sandpipers in these photographs have already finished nesting in subarctic Alaska! They are now on their southward migration. They'll spend the non-breeding season along the coast primarily between California and Peru.
Adults leave the breeding grounds before the juveniles. So at this time of year, you're most likely to encounter adults. Later in the summer and in the fall, you'll start to see juveniles.
Here are two more posts about Western Sandpipers: one from the spring of 2012 (a little information about field marks and the scientific name), and another from the fall of 2012 (flocks of sandpipers interacting with a falcon on Salmon Creek Beach).