Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Beautiful Rainy Day

 [Juvenile Sanderlings dodge the waves in the rain on the beach near Biddeford Pool, ME today. Juvs. are much more spangled above than adults.]

Okay, we wish the dregs of Hurricane Isaac weren't washing across southern Maine right now, and perhaps bright sunshine would have been nicer at Biddeford Pool. But perhaps not. It gave us an excuse to go to the Cabela's in Scarborough, for example, to ride out one wave of rain and buy what hopefully is in fact the perfect pair of lightweight birding gloves (complete with technical fingertips so I can text rare birds or use Birdlog to eBird while wearing them). But eventually we gave in and birded in the rain, especially to watch shorebirds concentrated on the beach near Biddeford Pool as the tide rose (another Derek Lovitch tip).

And it was wet, but great. I love the colors and textures of Maine's rocky coast beaches, all the colored pebbles and cobbles and seaweeds, smooth and rough and red and green and gray and waves cascading around the lot, pushing the Sanderlings around. And the Spotted Sandpipers, and the several hundred Semipalmated Sandpipers and a few Leasts and a couple White-rumpeds. Meanwhile Common Eiders surfed the waves in the background and 4 Red-necked Grebes fed offshore. I got very wet, so did the camera, but we're both still working so what the hey - bird in the rain.

And maybe tomorrow will clear. Or certainly the next day.

 [Neatly patterned upperpart feathers age this juvenile Semipalmated Sandpiper.]

 [Adult White-rumped Sandpiper, aged by mixture of old breeding and new winter back feathers, i.d.'d by the overall grayness of the head and chest, speckles along the sides, and long wings sticking out past the tail feathers. Beach at Biddeford, ME this afternoon shortly before high tide.]

[The Common Eiders were nonplussed by breaking waves as they foraged in the turbulent swash line.]

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