Breeding season over, shorebirds are heading back south as the migration pendulum swings the other way. Here are a few of the species I saw this week along Brooklyn’s shoreline:Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola). Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) and American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus), which looks like it’s got a Blue Mussel (which shouldn’t be that hard, the area is littered with them).Another view of a Turnstone, this time without the magic light of sundown on it.Back to golden glow of sundown. Here’s a Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus). It has one of the smallest bills in the shorebird universe, where specialized foraging strategies have led to all sorts of bill lengths and shapes, from this little nubbin to the outrageous Oystercatcher schnoz.OK, so the edge of Sylvan Water in Green-Wood Cemetery isn’t exactly a shoreline, but Spotted Sandpipers (Actitis macularius) are as apt to be found on the edges of freshwater as on brine.This is a juvenile, which entirely lacks the spots of a breeding adult (hey, I don’t name them). And that’s a dragonfly about to be brunch.
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This work by Matthew Wills is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.