Short-billed Dowitcher, with a Willet for size.
The dowitcher was tagging along behind the bigger bird, on the beach at Hobe Sound NWR, Jupiter Island.
Cloudy day and my camera settings could have been better. I will learn all that when I’m finished renovating our new house. Yeah, right.
This is my first dowitcher ID. Bird # 215 on the sidebar.
Ruddy Turnstones were turning over sargassum in search of snacks. The dowitcher was interested.
Lots of plastic trash was washing up with this bunch of weed.
A medium to large shorebird with a long bill, the Short-billed Dowitcher is a common and conspicous migrant that uses a “sewing-machine” method of foraging across the mud flats. Its long bill is short only in comparison with the very similar Long-billed Dowitcher.
Breeds in muskegs of taiga to timberline, and barely onto subarctic tundra.
Winters on coastal mud flats and brackish lagoons.
In migration prefers saltwater tidal flats, beaches, and salt marshes.
A flock of Sanderlings arrived at our stretch of beach, with a couple of plovers mixed in.
I had ID help on Facebook’s What’s This Bird… it’s a Black-bellied Plover, in non-breeding plumage. Latin name Pluvialis squatarola is kind of funny.
Wary and quick to give alarm calls, the Black-bellied Plover functions worldwide as a sentinel for mixed groups of shorebirds. These qualities allowed it to resist market hunters, and it remained common when populations of other species of similar size were devastated.
One of our friends, exploring the beach.