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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

False Bay Birds

After leaving Lime Kiln the other day, we headed down the west side and pulled over to take in this spectacular view. The sun was getting low in the sky but we decided to head down to False Bay to see what we could see.


The bay was full of all kinds of ducks, including American wigeon (although no sight of the one Eurasian wigeon we had seen there the day before), Northern pintail, and bufflehead. On a sand spit the juts out into the bay there were several hundred gulls, a few sandpipers, and some mallards and green-winged teal.


Out in the middle a great blue heron perched on a rock, and pictured below you can see his long, slender neck and a flock of pintail in the background.


A large flock of western sandpipers scurried about in the shallows close to the road. They were far more interested in some good feeding than worrying about our presence. A mew gull came over to see what all the fuss was about but didn't seem to find anything to eat for himself, lacking the long probing bill of the sandpipers.


It was starting to get a little too dark for crisp, clear photos, but as the sandpipers took short little flights along the beach I snapped some shots anyway, and laughed when I saw their aerial positions just prior to landing. They fly and land so fast you never get to appreciate the intricate maneuvering involved, and caught frozen in time their wings splayed back and legs extended look comical. Here is one of my favorite shots, and I like how you can see the differences in leg position as they go from flying to landing. They're going so fast most of them hit the ground running, where they move their little legs so fast it looks like they're on wheels.

2 comments:

Vickie said...

Lovely bird-filled visit. I enjoyed the last photo best, too.

Monika said...

Vickie, I thought of you when I looked at the last photo! You always seem to capture such interesting bird poses in your photographs, and I thought of that while looking at the sandpipers in flight in my photos.