Wednesday, April 6, 2011


The beach at Canaveral, while busy with people, was also busy with birds. Sanderlings raced the waves, pelicans and cormorants soared above the surf, and seagulls searched for hand outs.

This bird found itself a tasty morsel. Not sure what it is...

...but the gull is going to swallow it whole (gag).

Vultures too patrolled the beach, both black and turkey vultures. I know a lot of people are repulsed by these birds but they are magnificent in the air, seeming to float effortlessly on their huge outstretched wings. And while their proclivity for eating dead things may seem nasty to us, they and the other critters that eat carrion really do the world a favor--we would be smothered with death if not for them.

I was thrilled to see a couple of Ruddy turnstones working their way up the beach. I have seen this bird only a handful of times so I was excited at the chance to get some nice photos of them. While not yet in breeding plumage--they turn a pretty rusty-brown--they are easily identified by their dark yoke-like collar.

The pair met up directly in front of us and exchanged words.

We watched while they went about turning over shells and stones, looking for bugs...

...when suddenly they came running right towards us.

I had the camera on manual focus (the only way to shoot small subjects at a distance) and I could not react fast enough to get the quick little birds!

They eventually got so close that I couldn't fit them in the frame, but at least I was able to part of this one in focus!

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