Dunlins at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on October 19, 2018

Birding the Milwaukee lakefront this morning the bird species of the day was Dunlin. There were two nonbreeding adults present at the beach area at Lakeshore State Park. They fed up and down the beach area along with some gulls hanging around. Other birds to note along the lakefront this morning was a Ruddy Duck, male in the lagoon at Lakeshore State Park, also, two Sanderlings at McKinley Beach. Sanderlings this fall have been frequent along the lake, they have been seen on and off since August 22, sometimes as many as 31 in a flock. It was a dark gloomy morning and as I was leaving it was starting to rain. Chilly temps with good breeze, it was scarf weather for me. Images were taken on October 19, 2018.

Dunlin, very more colorful in their breeding plumage in the spring of the year…

Dunlin

Binomial name: Calidris alpina

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 8.5” long, 17” wing span

Weight: 2.1 oz

Going into the water for something to eat…

Something to eat in the bill…

Dunlin, a nice pose…

The two of them…

As I watched, they pick up things, must assume food and drop it…

Close up…

With something to eat…

They are often in the water with their bill and sometimes the head too getting food…

More food in the bill…

Getting something to eat…

The beauty of the back feathers…

Getting things to eat…

Dunlins bill is under the water getting something to eat…

Walking along the beach towards me…

Pectoral Sandpipers at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 21, 2018

One of my birding stops this morning was Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee. As I was scoping out a group of about 75 Ring-billed Gulls picking through a grassy area for things to eat, I spotted 2 sandpipers. Getting a closer look at them, they were Pectoral Sandpipers. They were feeding right along with the Ring-billed Gulls. It was a nice little surprise this morning considering what has been being seen there. The other species to note were, juvenile Green Heron, a juvenile Red-winged Blackbird and ~25 Double-crested Cormorants. A cooler morning with little sun early turning cloudy. Winds were calm to start but were picking up quickly. Images were taken on September 21, 2018.

Pectoral Sandpiper

Feeding….something in the bill…

Something in the bill…

A closeup…

Looking around in the grass for something to eat…

These birds move fast through the grass….going to get something here….

Going for something to eat…

Walking through the grass in search of something to eat…

Grabbing something here to eat…

A beautiful bird…

They squint as they go down in the grass to catch their food, not to poke their eyes…

Something in the bill…

Something in the bill…

I might think two juvenile birds…

One by itself…

Profile…

Sanderlings at Bradford Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 19, 2018

One of my first birding stops in the morning was Bradford Beach in Milwaukee. You never know what will be there. 8 Sanderlings were present across the whole shore of the beach. Walkers on the beach not even knowingly flush the feeding birds around which is very typical. The Sanderlings usually when flushed just fly out over the water a few 100 feet and return to a different area on the beach for more feeding. While running up and down the beach they are feeding on small crustaceans, amphipods, etc. Sanderlings like following waves in and out along the beach as that is where they find their fresh food. It was an overcast morning, low winds, mild temps. Images were taken on September 20, 2018.

The Sanderling feeding with something in the bill…

Sanderling

Binomial name: Calidris alba

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 8” long, 17” wing span

Weight: 2.1 Oz.

Note: An arctic breeder, a long distance migrator, winters in South America, South Europe, Africa, and Australia

Finding something small to eat…

Something in the bill…

Something in the bill…

Two of the Sanderlings moving along the beach together…

The Sanderling follows the wave in, the quickly runs to see what has been brought in…

Wave recedes back out, the Sanderling has something in his bill but continually looks for more food…

A pair…

The Sanderlings run in all directions with waves coming and going looking for things to eat…

The big bite!

Moving along in search of something to eat…

The Sanderling probes into the sand, I think the bill filters out the sand and what remains is the food…

Something in the bill…

Probing…

Running along the receding wave…

Looking around after some wave action for things to eat…

Looking…

Getting something small…

Something in the bill…

On the run…

Red Knot at Racine North Beach in Racine County Wisconsin on September 11, 2018

I arrived at North Beach in Racine at sunrise with hopes to see the Red Knot that was reported yesterday. After 45 minutes of walking the entire beach from the north to the south, I found this juvenile bird right near the pier on the south end. After only a moment of watching it through my bins, the beach cleaning machine flushed the bird far to the north. It remained there for awhile feeding and going through mussels, etc finding things to eat. I took a few images of this rare visitor and it was present when I walked away. Thanks to Rick Fare for finding this 2nd Red Knot as another one was had just been reported in the same location on September 8th. Thanks for getting the word out to for others to see it. Not a life bird as I got one back on August 16th 2014 in Hustisford. It was a beautiful morning with full sun, a light breeze, mild temps. Images were taken on September 11, 2018.

Red Knot, a juvenile bird…

Red Knot

Binomial name: Calidris canutus

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 10.5” long, 23” wing span

Weight: 4.7 Oz.

Note: A rare  visitor as the normal range for this species is breeding on the Canadian coasts and wintering on the southern east and west coasts of the United States.

Picking through the mussels and finding food in them…

Food in the bill…

More food in the bill…

Something in the bill…

Going to eat it…

Gets something out of a mussel…

Sanderling , left – Red Knot, right

Blurry flight shot, but look at the amazing feather patterns…

Walking along the beach checking out mussels, looking for something to eat…

More things to eat…

More…

Hunting for food…

Looking pretty…

Moving up and down the beach…

Tossing a mussel around……………and it gets something, it is on the tip of the bill….

Going inside the mussel for something to eat…

Pectoral Sandpipers at Veterans Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 4, 2018

A stop this morning at Veterans Park along the lakefront in Milwaukee provided some nice views of 2 Pectoral Sandpipers. These birds were in a wet grassy area in the park. They rested some and fed too. I did not hang around long as probably have come along way so far in their migration south and needed to take a break and do some feeding. I hot humid morning, with full sun, low winds. Thanks to Mike W for the text on these birds when I was on my way into town this morning. Images were taken on September 4, 2018.

Pectoral Sandpiper

Pectoral Sandpiper

Binomial name: Calidris melanotos

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 8.75” long, 18” wing span

Weight: 2.6 Oz.

Note: Some breed in the boggy tundra of northeast Asia, and some in a range from Alaska to central Canada.

Pectoral Sandpiper, the two…

Walking through the grass, probing into the ground and getting things to eat…

In search of food…

Something here…

Food…

The close up…

Aware…

Moving about the area…

Such a beautiful bird…

Shorebirds at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on August 22, 2018

I have hit the lakefront in Milwaukee a few times in the last week or so with hopes to see some migrating shorebirds. McKinley Beach was the hot spot this morning. Today was the first sighting of them for me for the fall migration here and it was a fun time to see the first of them. Present were, 2 Semipalmated Plovers, 2 Lesser Yellowlegs, 7 Sanderlings, 1 Least Sandpiper, and a Semipalmated Sandpiper. It was a full sun morning, with a nice cool breeze off the lake to start the day. Images were taken on August 22, 2018.

Sanderling with something to eat at the end of the bill…

Sanderling with some to eat…

Least Sandpiper moving along the shore…

Lesser Yellowlegs just about to grab something to eat…

Lesser Yellowlegs with something to eat…

Semipalmated Plover posing…

Semipalmated Plover getting something to eat…

Least Sandpiper, sitting low for a couple of moments….I have seen this action when a predator is in the area, I looked up but did not see anything…

Sanderling on the algae…

Lesser Yellowlegs moving about…

Lesser Yellowlegs, wings up here because of a recent wave, in search of food…

Least Sandpiper

Lesser Yellowlegs looking for food…, that is all they do it seems…

Lesser Yellowlegs with a worm…

Sanderling

Lesser Yellowlegs with a little wave action…

Sanderling with something in the bill to eat…

Least Sandpiper

Lesser Yellowlegs walking through the algae, in search of food…

Sanderling, the close up…

Lesser Yellowlegs looking…

Semipalmated Plover lays on the sand trying to be flat and unnoticed as a predator must be around, it does this for about 10 seconds and I see its eyes look up on occasion…

Semipalmated Plover stands with a fly in its bill…

Semipalmated Plover walking and looking on the beach…

American Woodcock Foraging at Lake Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on April 17, 2018

One of my birding stops today was Lake Park in Milwaukee. As I stood on a ravine top, out of the corner of my eye a bird flew up from below and landed a couple hundred feet away. I knew this was a new bird to the area.  From a distance it actually looked like a large hummingbird flying up. Well, I knew it was not that, but in a minute I knew it was an American Woodcock. I knew I was not going to be chasing this bird around the park. Walking around the park some more I noticed movement in a ravine off a bridge. It was a couple of the American Woodcocks foraging in open running water in the ravine probing down deep with their long bills. One took to the higher ground on the side of a ravine and walked around some but ended up back near the bottom of the ravine. This one foraged near rocks and an old stump thinking it was finding things to eat. I thought it was all pretty exciting, the whole show these 2 birds put on. A total of 4 birds seen, the other 2 were up the ravine just foraging and resting.  A nice day to be out, some sun, a good wind, still felt like winter with temps in the mid 30’s. Images were taken on April 17, 2018.

A short flight here…

American Woodcock

Binomial name: Scolopax minor

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 11” long, 18” wingspan

Weight: 7 Oz

The walk..

Foraging

Mud on the bill from probing…

Foraging

Foraging

Foraging

Foraging at the base of a rock….

Foraging on a ravine slope…

Foraging at the bottom of a ravine in the running water…

Foraging at the bottom of a ravine in the running water…

Foraging at the bottom of a ravine in the running water…

Purple Sandpiper at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on November 28, 2017

Doing some birding along the lakefront in Milwaukee this morning I came across a stunning Purple Sandpiper. I have been looking hard all fall along the lake for this species and it finally happened. As it was, I was at Lakeshore State Park on the east end of the island on the big lake. I spotted a sandpiper type bird, darker in color bird fly out from the big rock shore at waters edge out over the water about 10 feet and then return to the big rocks at waters edge farther south about ~ 100 feet. This bird would never have been seen as no one ever walks along the water with the very large rocks but I just happened to catch the flight. I knew immediately it had to be the Purple Sandpiper, a rare bird as it’s normal range is the east coast of the US, but are seen just once in awhile late fall Nov-Dec. I climbed down to the rocks and after awhile spotted it feeding. It did not seem to mind me at a distance as it just continually fed as big waves just kept coming in.  A few times the waves pushed this bird around, obviously this is a tough bird and is used to that. This species has been seen only a few times in the state in the last few years. The day started out with some sun and then clouds moved in with very mild temps of 50 degrees plus. Awesome bird and a fun morning. The last  time and only time I saw Purple Sandpipers were December 13, 2012 at Wind Point in Racine by the lighthouse rocky shoreline and there were 2 of them. Images were taken on November 28, 2017.

Purple Sandpiper with something in the bill…

Purple Sandpiper

Binomial name: Calidris maritima

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 9” long, 17” wing span

Weight:  2.5 oz

Notes: Breeds in the tundra and winters along rocky shores of the Atlantic Coast making this a rare bird for Wisconsin.

Just standing pretty before a flight down the shore…I saw this numerous times. Feed, perch, look around, then fly to the next spot…

Has something to eat…

Something in the bill…

The close-up

Feeding in the wave action…

Some preening here…

Feeding

Feeding in the wave action that just hit the shore…standing on large rocks here in the water, there is no beach

In the waves…standing on a large rock with a wave rolling over it…

Getting something…

It may have something in the bill…

Getting something to eat as the waves move…standing on a large rock with a wave rolling over it….

In the splash…standing on a rock with some wave action…no beach here

Coming up from the rocks at the water before the next flight…

Lesser Yellowlegs at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on October 23, 2017

Birding the lakefront in Milwaukee this morning was generally quiet. A Lesser Yellowlegs at Lakeshore State Park was probably the highlight in the places I stopped at. It did a little feeding and after awhile just took off and went east to the big lake. Other birds to note, a hand full of Northern Shovelers were still hanging around the lagoon at the park. 3 Sanderlings were present at McKinley Beach, the rest of the birds seen were just common species for this time of year. I took a few images of the Lesser Yellowlegs to share. It was an gloomy overcast days with some rain showers early with temps in the lower 50’s. Images were taken on October 23, 2017.

Lesser Yellowlegs

Binomial name: Tringa flavipes

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 10.5” long, 24” wing span

Weight:  2.8 oz

Notes: Breeds in northern Canada and Alaska, winters at coasts of southern US and Mexico.

Eyeing something up here

Watching…

Going down….did it get it?

A miss…

Just walking along the shore…

Some preening…

Just finished preening…

Got something here….

Coming into shore…

Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on October 15, 2017

A stop at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee provided nice views of both the Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs. A total of 4 Greaters and 1 Lesser. When I arrive early about 7:15, just the 4 Greaters were present. After a few minutes the Lesser Yellowlegs showed up. They look tired as they probably just had put on some miles. They did next to no feeding while I was there and just rested. It was a cool morning, overcast with some strong west winds. Also present at Lakeshore State park provided brief view of a thinking now, a Common Snipe by the looks of the distant image, not a American Woodcock as first thought as it flushed while I walked the path and it just went way up and headed north, also an American Kestrel which I have not seen for awhile. Another lakefront beach, McKinley had 12 Sanderlings, and the Black Scoters were still present off North Point that Tom W reported yesterday. Images were taken on October 15, 2017.

Greater Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs

Lesser Yellowlegs in front with Greater behind

Lesser Yellowlegs in front with Greater behind

Greater Yellowlegs riding the waves…

Lesser Yellowlegs on the right, I thought it was feeding but appeared to be playing with this item…

Greater Yellowlegs moving along the beach area…

Lesser Yellowlegs

Lesser Yellowlegs

Lesser Yellowlegs, I thought it was feeding but appeared to be playing with this item…

Lesser Yellowlegs in front…

Lesser Yellowlegs

2 Greater Yellowlegs

Eyes closed, resting…

Greater Yellowlegs, the double…

Greater Yellowlegs…

Sanderlings at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on October 6, 2017

A stop at McKinley Beach this morning in Milwaukee gave brief views of 8 Sanderlings feeding pretty much non-stop. Also present were the commonly seen Ring-billed Gulls at this location. After only a couple minutes a dog approached the area and all the birds flushed with the Sanderlings heading south. Other birds to note along the local lakefront were many Double-crested Cormorants everywhere, and ~ a dozen Northern Shovelers, and a Ruddy Duck being at Lakeshore State Park. It was a overcast morning with mild temps around 58 degrees with some steady winds and waves off the lake. Images were taken on October 6, 2017.

Sanderling with a bite to eat…

Sanderlings feeding along the beach bank…

Sanderlings feeding along the beach with Ring-billed Gulls

Moving along the beach with waves rolling in…

Along the beach they go…

Trying to avoid the waves…

Shaking it off!

Size comparison image with a Ring-billed Gull and a Sanderling…

Some preening

More preening

Scratching…

Coming towards me…

In the wave…

Out of the wave action…

Just waiting for the sight of something to eat…

Sanderlings and Semipalmated Sandpipers at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 10, 2017

A brief stop at the McKinley Beach this morning provided nice views of 2 Sanderlings and 2 Semipalmated Sandpipers. One of the Sanderlings was transitioning into nonbreeding plumage and still had some of its breeding plumage, an interesting look. The birds fed on the algae mat at the beach. Other than that the lakefront was pretty slow at Bradford Beach, Lakeshore State Park and the harbor. Images were taken on September 10, 2017.

Sanderling going into nonbreeding plumage from breeding plumage with a worm…

Sanderling in nonbreeding plumage

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Sanderling going into nonbreeding plumage

Sanderling going into nonbreeding plumage

Sanderling in nonbreeding plumage

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Sanderling nonbreeding plumage

Semipalmated Sandpiper

 

Sanderlings at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on September 3, 2017

A stop at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin provided some nice views of Sanderlings. They fed along the algae mat in the beach area. A stunning shorebird species close up that moved quickly along the beach area. Images were taken on September 3, 2017.

Sanderling chasing off another Sanderling in the area

What’s up…

Looking for something to eat…

On the move along the mat

Got something…

On the move with a little wind blowing

A little wave action here…

In search of something to eat…

Here is a bite…

Posing…

Ruddy Turnstones at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 3, 2017

My first stop this morning on Milwaukee’s lakefront was McKinley Beach. Guess there were at least 25 shorebirds. Mostly Sanderlings, a Least Sandpiper, and  few Semipalmated Plovers. Also present were 2 Ruddy Turnstones which are always exciting birds. They feed in the more stony areas of the beach turning over items on the beach such as mussels getting food. They were flushed often by walkers with and without dogs but held still a few times for photos. It  was a beautiful morning to be out with sunny skies and pleasant temps. Images were taken on September 3, 2017.

Ruddy Turnstone, juvenile on the move

Ruddy Turnstone

Binomial name: Arenaria interpres

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 9.5” long, 21” wing span

Weight: 3.9 oz

Ruddy Turnstone feeding on a mussel…

Ruddy Turnstone in a mussel and always turning things over…

Ruddy Turnstone with something to eat

Feeding in the water too….

Ruddy Turnstone feeding on mussels

Feeding

Ruddy Turnstone, juvenile

In search of food…

Northern Shoveler, maybe adult female

Ruddy Turnstone, Breeding adult plumage for comparison to fall plumage, taken in spring 2017. Image for reference only

Shorebirds at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on August 23, 2017

Stopping at a few locations this morning along the lake, Lakeshore State Park was the highlight with some beautiful shorebirds. The beach there gave nice views of the birds as they fed. Birds included a Least Sandpiper, mostly Semipalmated Sandpipers, a couple Semipalmated Plovers and a Sanderling. Images were taken on August 23, 2017.

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Plover feeding

Least Sandpiper on the move…

Semipalmated Sandpiper, walk don’t run…

Semipalmated Sandpiper in search of food…

Semipalmated Sandpiper feeding

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper with the feathers blowing in the wind…

Semipalmated Sandpiper on the move…

Semipalmated Sandpiper feeding

Semipalmated Sandpiper feeding…

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper feeding with a Semipalmated Plover behind…

Semipalmated Sandpiper feeding with a Semipalmated Plover behind…

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Sandpiper looking for food…

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper looking for food…

Semipalmated Sandpiper with the feathers blowing in the wind…

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Sanderling on the move

Sanderling with a gnat in the bill

Sanderling taking to the air…

Semipalmated Plover with the itch!

 

Semipalmated Sandpipers and Sanderlings at the McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin May 23, 2017

Some other nice shorebird species at the McKinley Beach in Milwaukee yesterday, the Semipalmated Sandpipers and Sanderlings. There were 6 of them present for feeding back and forth along the beach shore from one end to the other putting on a great show. They flew from one side of the beach area to the other, usually what appeared to be for no reason. Cute little birds! Images were taken on May 23, 2017.

Semipalmated Sandpiper looking for food…

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Binomial name: Calidris pussilla

Category:  Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 6.25” long, 14” wing span

Weight:  .88 oz

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Some action on the beach…

Semipalmated Sandpiper center, in search of food, a big part of their life…

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper front

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Sanderling

Semipalmated Sandpiper, when the wave hits a wing, up they go…

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Just looking…

and looking…

Dunlin at the McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin May 23, 2017

Stopping at McKinley Beach today also gave nice views of another species of shorebird, the Dunlin. The Dunlin hung out with the Ruddy Turnstone and the Semipalmated Sandpipers while feeding along the beach on the algae mat. All the birds gave nice views on this cloudy day with mild temps and light winds. Light rain started and I left the area. Images were taken on May 23, 2017.

Dunlin

Binomial name: Calidris alpina

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 8.5” long, 17” wing span

Weight: 2.1 oz

Feeding

Feeding

Eating something…or maybe sifting through the sand in the bill for something to eat…

At takeoff…

Preening

Preening

Fluffed up after preening…

At you…

Feeding

More feeding…

Feeding…

Closeup

Moving along the shore…

More feeding…

Just looking…

 

Ruddy Turnstone at the McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin May 23, 2017

Doing some birding long the lakefront in Milwaukee today, the stop at McKinley Beach proved fruit full for a few nice shorebirds. A stunning male Ruddy Turnstone was feeding along the algae mat and put on a great show. It worked some of the big rocks too along the side of the beach feeding. Amazing as I have seen before, I watched this bird turn over rocks looking for food, probably why it got the name “turnstone”. Also present a Dunlin, and some Semipalmated Sandpipers. The Piping Plover was still present too! When I arrived at the beach I saw Sue K capturing a few shots already from the other side of the beach. A few rain drops started coming down and I left. Images were taken on May 23, 2017.

Finding things along the rocks to eat…

Ruddy Turnstone

Binomial name: Arenaria interpres

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 9.5” long, 21” wing span

Weight: 3.9 oz

Coming in…

Finding things to eat as the wave comes in…

Looking for things to eat…

Something to eat, a crustacean…

Something to eat, a crustacean…

Getting things to eat

Getting something to eat…

Sanderling at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 3, 2017

One of my first stops of the morning on the Milwaukee Lakefront gave nice views of a Sanderling at McKinley Beach. Just one hanging around grabbing a few things to eat in between some of the small waves. So few shorebirds this year, maybe they are still coming. Images were taken on May 3, 2017.

Piping Plovers on Milwaukee’s Lakefront on May 2, 2017

A quick stop this morning on Milwaukee’s lakefront to see if the Piping Plovers were present proved worth it. The Piping Plovers were present and gave nice views for the few minutes I was there. They were at the location where they were found yesterday. The 2 of them moved around on the beach picking up insects, etc to eat.  While I was there a gust of wind came up and the birds just toughed it out facing the strong wind with sand in their faces! Exciting birds on a overcast, windy, and cold day! Images were taken on May 2, 2017.

Getting the insect…

With an insect…

Getting the insect…

Then there were two..

Toughing it out in the blowing sand!

With an insect…

With an insect in the blowing sand…