ID’ed at last! I first spotted these birds back in April down by the boat ramp. Since then I’ve been pouring through books trying to determine what these colorful little shore birds are. Turns out they are Ruddy Turnstones, members of the sandpiper family, though once classified as a plover. These birds are appropriately named, as the turnstones use their bills to flip or kick aside shells and pebbles in search of food.They are a hardy breed, too, and can survive a wide range of climates–from the artic to the tropics. The non-breeding adult and the juvenile are not nearly as colorful (see photo left) as the breeding adult.
Here’s another view of the retama, the tree with the bright green bark and the long, thin leaves. It’s quite graceful, especially with a gentle breeze swaying its wispy leaves. The foliage is quite interesting and different.
And guess who reappeared at the watering hole? One of my favorite characters – the yellow-crested night heron. He quickly claimed the marshy area as his personal territory, and with such intensity evident in his eyes, I quickly ceded to him, too.