Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Black-bellied Plover

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I went to Fort Stevens State Park hoping to see some migrating shorebirds. Unfortunately, I was either too late in the day, (I arrived at 8:30 AM), or chose the wrong site, as I didn't see many shore birds.
One that I did see, however, was a new life bird for me, the Black-bellied Plover. I saw two, or maybe the same one in two different places. The first time I saw it was from the observation deck at South Jetty. It was right below us on the sandy beach at the base of the jetty rocks. I may have missed it as I was busy watching a mixture of gulls, pelicans and terns through my camera further out on the shore if my daughter hadn't pointed it out.
Luckily, this was an easy shore bird to identify. Many of those I have seen lately have been a challenge to identify. Unlike this Plover, it doesn't help that many are either juveniles or transitioning into winter, non-breeding plumage. Then again, it makes this hobby more interesting and challenging.

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