waves, shorebirds, plants

9.21.20 ~ beach rose hips
Napatree Point Conservation Area, Watch Hill, Rhode Island

Now that summer is giving way to autumn we decided to go to Napatree Point again. An added incentive was the promise of big waves from Hurricane Teddy, churning away out at sea. It was lovely to walk and breathe in the sea air. The tide was coming in and the waves were bigger than usual, 6.5′ according to a surfing website. I even brought a blanket so I could sit on the beach for a while, and soak up the earth’s energy.

first glimpse of the sea from the dune
big waves breaking
fishing from the breakwater
one view from my blanket
Watch Hill Lighthouse
spectacular waves
the sound was stirring and calming at once
so much beauty

And then, much to my delight, two tiny birds flew in off the water and landed in front of us. We watched them for the longest time as they were feeding by the wrack line, and as they ran back and forth between the waves. If I’m making correct identifications, the larger one in front is a semipalmated plover and the smaller one in back is a semipalmated sandpiper. It was fun getting pictures from a sitting position.

semipalmated sandpiper (6″ long)
semipalmated sandpiper (15 cm long)
feathers stuck in the wrack line
semipalmated plover (7″ long)
semipalmated plover (18 cm long)
goldenrod, a classic sign of autumn
beach rose hoping for a little more summer
along the path
lots of things grow on the dunes
herring gull heading out for a swim in the bay

What a wonderful morning!

18 thoughts on “waves, shorebirds, plants”

    1. Thank you, Melissa! I couldn’t believe my luck when the little birds landed. Maybe I should sit down on my walks more often. πŸ™‚ The ocean is definitely a balm for a weary soul.

  1. Great photos. I long to see the ocean and a seashore in person, but considering that isn’t going to happen any time soon, your photos have taken me there. And with no sand in my shoe!

    1. Thank you, Ally! I’m happy you could come to the shore with me. I guess none of us are traveling much these days but it can fun exploring our local areas, pretending to be tourists.

  2. Barbara, it looks like a wonderful morning! Before I even reached where you mentioned the sound of the waves I could virtually hear them crashing – so beautiful. I wonder do your plovers build nests in long grass, and swoop on passers-by to protect their young? Your plover looks a bit different to ours here, but we have to keep a watch out for them at this time of year, being spring in Australia. Your beach flora is beautiful too. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a beach rose before. πŸ™‚

    1. Napatree Point is a hotspot for breeding and migratory birds and I suspect these two were stopping by on their way south. When we were here in June there were signs everywhere instructing people to stay out of the dune grass and to not disturb the nesting birds. I didn’t see any but thought I heard one or two. The signs were gone on this trip. It’s a conservation area so there are no restrooms, lifeguards or concession stands, and it’s quite a hike to get there, so the people who come are nature lovers who respect the wild birds. Beach roses are lovely, and they smell nice, too!

  3. Oh boy did I ever enjoy this day at the beach, Barbara. The big crashing waves and all the beach scenes were so refreshing and exhilarating. Marvelous photos and descriptions.

    1. Thank you, Jet! So happy you could come with me to the beach this time. There’s something about the sea, time seems to stand still and the moments stretch on forever…

  4. Beautiful photos of the waves Barbara – I could feel the roar and crash of these waves. You had an excellent view from your beach blanket of these cute birds, even the quizzical expression on the Plover or the Sandpipers picking up their feet to walk along the sandy beach.

    1. Thank you, Linda! The little shorebirds were beyond adorable as they darted around between the waves looking for food in the wrack line. It was hard getting the pictures because they didn’t hold still for more than a wink and a blink. πŸ™‚ (You should have seen all the blurry photos I deleted…)

      1. They were very cute poking around on the shore. I come home with a lot of squirrels missing snouts and tails if I don’t get pictures of them sitting quietly munching peanuts. I have followed a UK blogger who is an amateur photographer for a couple of years. Andy goes to a nature preserve near the water called Titchfield Haven. I had never heard of Plovers before following Andy’s blog I had heard of, but not seen, Sandpipers. He includes many shore birds I had never seen before.

        1. Sometimes it seems like one has to take a hundred pictures to get one good one! What is the name of Andy’s blog? Maybe I can find it as I’d love to see shorebirds in other places. Thanks. There are so many kinds of sandpipers and plovers that I’m never certain I’ve made the correct identification, but it’s fun to try. πŸ™‚

          1. That happens to me a lot, or I shake as I’m not on flat ground or I am carrying a bag filled with peanuts on my forearm. I was going to send you Andy’s blog site yesterday but then recalled his most recent posts were not of shorebirds but he is taking lots of different mushrooms lately, but I found you one here. He was doing almost exclusively shorebirds from Titchfield Haven, then with the pandemic and the closure of his favorite spot, he started going on long walks in the rural areas where he has been taking pictures of deer. This Summer he has done some macro photography and dragonflies and also some mushrooms. He grew a garden in his yard as he was worried about mingling with others and the UK was so strict with their lockdown. Here is a shorebirds post from Andy – no Plovers or Sandpipers in this one. I like the Avocet’s long beaks. I will put his blog name down below. I really like his photos:


          2. Thank you, Linda! I love deer as much as I love birds so I’m sure I will enjoy Andy’s pictures. I’m picturing you taking pictures with a bag of peanuts on your forearm. πŸ™‚

    1. It was, my friend. As I was leaving the house I suddenly had the idea that if I sat on the beach my colon would be closer to Mother Earth and might soak up some healing energy. So I grabbed the blanket. I think I will try it more often…

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