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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Knot at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 3, 2019

I got a tip that a rare bird for this area, a Red Knot was seen and reported yesterday at Lakeshore State Park. I made the run down to the lakefront this morning assuming the bird was not present but something else could have come in. The juvenile bird was present at the beach area at the park and gave nice views. It fed finding things to eat while I was present taking some photographs. This bird is considered a rare sighting as the normal range for this species is east and west coasts of North America. Thanks to Tracy C for finding this bird and getting the word out for others to try for it. It was partly cloudy early morning with light winds and mild temps. Images were taken on September 3, 2019.

The Red Knot, a juvenile

Walking the beach area finding things to eat…

Getting something here to eat…

Closeup…

Just looking…

Getting something to eat here…

 

The Red Knot sees something to eat…

The Red Knot grabs it!

Something in the bill…

A leg up…

Another closeup…

For those who have not seen an adult close to full breeding plumage, this adult I photographed in Hustisford on August 16, 2014

American Avocets, Willets and a Marbled Godwit at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 1, 2019

My first birding stop this morning was Lakeshore State Park. I having been hitting it regularly the last few weeks waiting for the American Avocets. This morning was the day as 14 were present when I arrived, btw, my favorite bird! A few minutes later 24 Willets showed up and a while later another ~35 showed up. It was exciting to see this species again. Last year May 5, was the day they showed up at this park. Very skittish they were as when a person walking by the beach area at the park, the American Avocets flushed and landed in the lagoon in a very tight group. It seemed that after about 15-20 minutes they worked their way back to the beach area and hung out with the Willets, sometimes by themselves too. A Marbled Godwit was found in the group of Willets on the beach by Jennifer A later on. The bird may have just joined the group on one of the flushes.  All the birds were flushed many times while I was there but by pedestrians not knowing what was going on, it was all innocent.  Weather was not great as there was a mist coming down for at least the first hour I was there. On and off it was very cold out there on the island park. Stunning birds regardless! It was a fun time with friend birders and photographers that showed while I was there. Images were taken on May 1, 2019.

The American Avocet, male

Flying free…

A group of them…they hung tight all day…

The American Avocets returning to the beach area…

Marbled Godwit left, Willet right

Willets coming to the beach with the Marbled Godwit standing out…

Willets coming in…

Willet

Willets with the Marbled Godwit in the middle…

Willets coming in…

Marbled Godwit preening

American Avocets in flight coming in…

Willets coming in…

American Avocets, a pair, could be a female left, male right…

Willets landing at the beach…

American Avocets landing at the beach…

Willet and Marbled Godwit left to right…

Marbled Godwit in front with the Willets

The Marbled Godwit

Huddled out in the lagoon…all 14 of them…

Willet playing with a crayfish claw that a gull left after eating the crayfish…

Marbled Godwit with something in the bill to eat…

Willet with something in the bill to eat too…

Willets in coming…

Marbled Godwith surrounded by Willets but feeling at home…

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…

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