Willets at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on April 29, 2022

I stopped by McKinley Beach and it was a nice surprise to see 24 Willets. They were spread out all over the beach finding things to eat. No pedestrians or dogs were around so they were just doing their thing. Some looked very tired as they were probably were just stopping for a break on their migration trip. It was a nice afternoon with some sun and warmer temps around 50 degrees. Images were taken on April 29, 2022.

A group of the Willets on the beach…

Walking the beach finding things to eat…

Something to eat in the bill…

A pair…

Some larger waves were coming in…

Getting something to eat underwater…

That tongue…

Closeup…

In the bubbles…

One resting its eyes…

Preening…

More preening…

The birds feathers, protection for their body…

Just resting…

Purple Sandpipers at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on January 17, 2022

The rare species for the area, the Purple Sandpiper found on January 1, 2022 is still hanging around on the Milwaukee lakefront. Another Purple Sandpiper has also joined it so there are two now for the last week or so. I have not been down to the lakefront for some time and decided to check them out. They both were present at the beach area and gave nice views. The first one I found was feeding along the icy shore and the second I found bathing underneath a  rocky area. It was a cloudy morning but temps has eased some from the last week, today was 23 degrees, low winds, it was pleasant. Images were taken on January 17, 2022.

The Purple Sandpiper, bird #1 finding things to eat along the shore…

The Purple Sandpiper, bird #2 found under some large rocks bathing…

Flew around under the rocks, maybe stretching those wings?

Purple Sandpiper at McKinley Marina in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on January 1, 2022

It was a nice surprise to hear of a Purple Sandpiper at McKinley Beach this morning on New Year’s Day. When I arrived at the Milwaukee lakefront it was still present feeding along a little sand area just south of the beach. This bird was found by Jessica H, nice find and thank you for getting the word out for others to see. A cold and cloudy morning with good winds off the lake at about 20 degrees. Image were taken on January 1, 2022.

The Purple Sandpiper finding things to eat…

Black-bellied Plover at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on September 6, 2021

Walking Lakeshore State Park I observed a Black-bellied Plover at the beach area. This juvenile bird gave nice views. It walked back and forth along the beach area getting things to eat. It was a gorgeous morning with sunny skies and pleasant temperatures. Images were taken on September 6, 2021.

The Black-bellied Plover, juvenile…

Something in the bill to eat…

Down it went…

Close up…

The bird was finding plenty to eat…

More things to eat…

Some preening…

Just another shot…

A stretch…

A back view…

And more to eat…

Another nice treat…

Shorebirds at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on June 4, 2021

One of my birding stops today along the Milwaukee lakefront was McKinley Beach.  Present were 3 Dunlins, 6 Semipalmated Sandpipers and 1 Semipalmated Plover. They put on a nice show eating things they like on the algae mat that has formed there. They also found food at the waters edge at the beach. While I was there they suddenly all got up at the same time and flew north. I believe there was a predator in the area. It was a beautiful morning with low winds, 70 degrees and mostly cloudy. Images were taken on June 4, 2021.

The Dunlin giving nice looks…

The Dunlin walking in the water finding things to eat…

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper with food in the bill…

Semipalmated Plover

The Dunlin preening…

The Dunlin shaking off…

The Dunlin fluffed up some…

Semipalmated Sandpiper with something in the bill…

Walking across the algae mat…

Short-billed Dowitchers at Grant Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on May 13, 2021

A stop at Grant Park in Milwaukee County produced 10 Short-billed Dowitchers. Nice to see these beautiful shorebirds fairly close up as usually they are seen at a distance. When I arrived they appeared to be resting with most eyes closed. After about 20 minutes some of them started to do some feeding. It was a beautiful day with sunny skies and mild temps. Images were taken on May 13, 2021.

The long bill on a Short-billed Dowitcher, feeding here…

Some of the 10 Short-billed Dowitchers…

They were actively feeding…

These birds sorta resemble a sewing machine when feeding with their bills going in and out of the water…

Sanderling at South Shore Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on May 10, 2021

Hitting a few beaches along the Milwaukee lakefront produced one Sanderling at South Shore Park. The bird was looking beautiful going into its breeding plumage. The bird fed up and down the beach shoreline and sometimes being flushed by walkers which use this beach. It was a cold day out with good winds coming off the lake at 40 degree temps, I did not see the sun till later in the day. Images were taken on May 10, 2021.

The Sanderling flying out over the water and then back to the beach as walkers came by…

Waiting for something to eat…

Getting something…

Something small in the bill to eat…

Looking for something to eat here…

Something in the bill…they eat sand crabs, amphipods, isopods, insects, marine worms, small mollusks…

Moving up onto the shore after a wave came in and goes back out…

More food in the bill…they like to watch for food in the sand after a wave comes in…

And more food…

American Avocet at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on May 2, 2021

I checked the Milwaukee lakefront beaches early morning and they were empty. I decided to look for a few warblers at Lake Park, it was pretty birdie but after awhile thought I would check out a few other places. I decided to check the beach at Lakeshore State Park once more before leaving the lakefront. I’m glad I did as there was one lone American Avocet. It was not real active, I think just taking a break from maybe a long flight. While viewing the Avocet a Hudsonian Godwit made a very brief appearance. It was on the beach for maybe 15-30 seconds and off it went. It landed on the opposite end of the beach from where I was, another birder captured a photo for an ID. It was a beautiful morning with mostly sunny skies, low winds and temps in the 60’s to start. Images were taken on May 2, 2021.

The American Avocet…

American Avocet in flight…pedestrians on the beach not knowingly flushed the bird on a few occasions but it usually returned to the beach area…

Here getting something to eat maybe…

So beautiful!

At takeoff…

That bill…

American Avocets and Willets at North Beach in Racine Wisconsin on April 28, 2021

Word was out that American Avocets were in Racine.  I made the run down there and they were, along with cool Willets. They were at North Beach on Lake Michigan. Probably my favorite bird and bird to photograph as they are so beautiful! Birders are very lucky if they get to lay their eyes on this species once every spring. They put on a nice show just standing around, feeding and taking a couple of times to the sky. These birds are known as one day wonders, typically seen one day and not the next. It was another cool morning with wins out of the northeast, temps in the mid 40’s and overcast. Images were taken on April 28, 2021.

The American Avocets…

They typically face into the wind, being ready for takeoff…I think I counted 26 birds!

Coming in for a landing…

American Avocets and Willets in flight…

Willets at waters edge…some were feeding…

American Avocet…

American Avocets at waters edge…

Willet…

Willet getting something to eat…

Waiting for something to eat…

Sanderling at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on November 19, 2020

While birding Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee I came upon a lone Sanderling at the beach. A late one for sure migrating south, here for a stop. I only hung around for a minute and a couple quick photos, I never saw it on shore, it only stood in the water. It stood in the wave action at the shoreline and appeared to find things to eat. Mild temps, but the wind made it chilly, and sun on and off. Images were taken on November 19, 2020.

Sanderling posing pretty…

In the wave…

Getting something to eat…

Another wave…

A nice pose…

Sanderlings and Dunlins at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on October 31, 2020

I started out my birding morning at McKinley Beach walking north along the lake. I heard of a Common Redpoll being seen in that area. No luck with that but on my way back to the beach area, using my bins, I noticed  some shorebirds on the south end of the beach. A quick walk over provided nice looks at 3 Dunlins and 2 Sanderlings. They seemed hungry and fed while I was present other than a little bathing by one Sanderling. It was a chilly morning with good winds from the north with some sun. Other places along the lakefront I stopped at were quiet. Images were taken on October 31, 2020.

One of the Dunlins in nonbreeding plumage…

Dunlin with food in the bill…

3 Dunlins…

Sanderling with the waves coming in…

Sanderling bathing…

Sanderling with food in the bill…

Sanderling closeup…

Sanderling looking pretty…

Sanderling preening…

Sanderling preening…

Sanderling fluffing up…

Sanderling, some wing stretching…

Sanderling

Dunlin posing pretty…

White-rumped Sandpiper at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on October 30, 2020

While approaching the beach area at Lakeshore State Park a bird drops out of the sky 100 feet in front of me and lands at the beach. I was like what?? The bird, a White-rumped Sandpiper which is considered a rare bird for this location on this date. I quickly took a couple of photos as a guy behind me has 2 leashed dogs and he walks them at the beach everyday. I had 1 minute to photograph this bird as the dogs start coming down the beach right behind me and the bird flushed.  The bird took off and while birding at the park the next 30 minutes I did not see the bird return. It was a partly cloudy morning, a cold breeze from the north, temps around 35 degrees. Images were taken on October 30, 2020.

White-rumped Sandpiper, a white rump there…

Getting something to eat…

Back view…

More to eat in a very short time…

More to eat…

Moving out in the water before being flushed…

Dunlin at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on October 26, 2020

Birding Lakeshore State Park this morning I was surprised to come across a Dunlin. The bird was in nonbreeding plumage so it was not as colorful as if it were spring, but still a beautiful bird. It was feeding on the east shore of the island. It appeared it was finding plenty to eat and moving around on a few of the rocks. It was a cold morning out with snow flurries earlier in the morning, temps around 34 with a good cloud cover. Images were taken on October 26, 2020.

The Dunlin getting back up on the rock after a little slip…

A beautiful shorebird!

Something on the bill…

Down into the water for something to eat…

Looking for things to eat…

Looking for things to eat…

It seemed like it was finding plenty…

Dunlin in breeding plumage, image taken on May 23, 2017

Sanderlings and a Semipalmated Plover at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 8, 2020

One of my birding stops early this morning was McKinley Beach. Present there were 7 Sanderlings and 1 Semipalmated Plover. They were feeding on some nice algae mats there. It was a gloomy morning out and just after seeing these birds it started raining. Nothing else special to note at the other couple of places I stopped before McKinley Beach. Images were taken on September 8, 2020.

Sanderling with something to eat…

Sanderling looking pretty…

Semipalmated Plover posing…

Sanderling with something to eat…

Sanderling in search of food…

Sanderling looking for things to eat…

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Plover

Sanderling in the wave with food in the bill…

Sanderling in search of…

American Golden-Plover at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on August 28, 2020

While walking Lakeshore State Park this morning checking out the beach area, it was empty. I started to walk east across the field and after a couple of 100 feet I turned around to look at the beach again and a shorebird had just dropped in. I’m like what?? I put my bins up and decided it was a plover by the size and body. As I got closer I assumed it was an American Golden-Plover. Someone told me once, a chunky bill is a Black-bellied Plover. This bill was not chunky. I immediately took some photos, and only getting a few, bikers, dog walkers being good, walkers in general, the area all of the sudden became very busy, I watched the bird fly off to the northeast across the grass field. Not really sure what spooked it as I was looking at images on my camera. It was a warm morning, a nice breeze helped, sunny skies. Images were taken on August 28, 2020.

The American Golden Plover

American Golden-Plover

American Golden-Plover, with a feather…

American Golden-Plover

Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on August 26, 2020

I had seen a couple reports of a Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Lakeshore State Park so this morning I thought I would try my luck. It was there along the end of a mowed field with a Lesser Yellowlegs. After watching this bird for awhile sitting up on a clump of grass, it decided to hunt a little in the grass for insects to eat. I saw on one image it had a moth in its bill. Later it flew to the beach area and hung out for a while. When I left the area other birders had arrived and were enjoying nice views. It was a warm morning with early temps at 84 degrees, full sun, a little breeze. Images were taken on August 26, 2020.

Buff-breasted standing on top of a clump of grass…

Off to do a little hunting for insects…

A moth in the bill…

Always changing directions as it walks, looking and listening for something to eat…

Getting something here…

Near the beach area on a rock…

Those beautiful feathers…

The closeup

Preening…

A resting Lesser Yellowlegs a couple of feet from the Buff-breasted, they are friends it appeared…

American Pipits at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee County on November 1, 2019

A stop at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee along the lakefront provided views of 2 American Pipits. Thinking these are 1st winter birds…They fed along the beach clutter along the shore finding things to eat. Ring-billed Gulls were in the same area and slightly harassed the pipits on occasion flushing them. Nice to see something different for a change. Images were taken on November 1, 2019.

American Pipit

American Pipit

Binomial name: Anthus rubescens

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 6.5” long, 10.5” wing span

Weight: .74 Oz.

Note: Pipits are found on all continents, except Antarctica

Finding things to each with a Ring-billed Gull nearby…

Looking for something to eat…

The two American Pipits perched on a log just looking around…

Something in the bill to eat…

Just looking pretty!

Semipalmated Plover and Sanderlings at Bradford Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 10, 2019

With some light rain falling this morning, I decided to check a few beaches on Milwaukee’s lakefront. Bradford Beach had 1 Sempalmated Plover and 21 Sanderlings. I took a few shots when the rain let up. Always so cute to see the Sanderlings running up and down the beach, in and out in search of things to eat. McKinley Beach and Lakeshore State Park had nothing today, at least when I stopped. It was a foggy morning, slight drizzle at times and light winds from the east. Images were taken on September 10, 2019.

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Plover going for something here…

Semipalmated Plover with a Sanderling in the background…

Just looking…

Sanderling with something in the bill…

Sanderling getting something….

Sanderling, the wing stretch…

Sanderling reflection…

The bug goes flying!

Sanderling, something in the bill…

Sanderlings, three of a kind…

Just looking…

More food in the bill…

Waiting for the next wave, and then getting the next food…

Spotted Sandpiper Feeding at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 5, 2019

Birding Lakeshore State Park I came across a juvenile Spotted Sandpiper that was feeding on the rocks on the big lake. Watching this bird for about 15 minutes, it never stopped feeding, catching very small insects and eating them. It bounced from rock to rock, back and forth putting on a great show for me. My presence watching from a distance was not a problem for this bird, it never stopped searching for and feeding on insects. Eat to survive, and this bird was doing just that. After a few minutes I left. It was a beautiful day at the park as they say, with perfect temps with a slight breeze, partly cloudy. Images were taken on September 5, 2019.

Spotted Sandpiper checking out this old log getting a few insects off of it with Bittersweet Nightshade Berries in the background…

Insect in the bill…around all the rocks it looked for food and found it, small insects…

It sees an insect…

And gets that insect!

Posing pretty!

Looks up the side of a large rock for insects…

Insect in bill….finds insects under this old stick…

Over the edge of the rock it reaches and grabs an insect…

Closeup…

Great pose, the Spotted Sandpiper, juvenile…

Moving around on the rocks in search of food…

Insect in bill….it finds a few things to eat here on the side of this rock…

Another nice view…

Sneaking around on the rocks looking for those insects…

Another beautiful shorebird, the Spotted Sandpiper…

Sanderlings at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 3, 2019

After photographing the Red Knot at Lakeshore State Park I headed over to McKinley Beach. 3 Sanderlings were present and they were feeding along the beach area at waters edge finding things to eat. It was a beautiful day and exciting to see the first Sanderlings of the fall migration. Images were taken on September 3, 2019.

Sanderling looking for things to eat…

Something in the bill to eat…

Another catch…

Food in the bill…

Walking around and looking for things to eat…

Something in the bill to eat…

Posing…

Close up…

Walking and looking for things to eat, sand on the bill from the last probe…

Grabbing something to eat here…

Food in the bill…

The Sanderling, what a beautiful shorebird!