However, I'm going to inflict the latest batch on you. Just because.
I was returning, near sunset, from a circuit of the Oyster Bay Shoreline Park. The tide was coming in, surging and splashing out on the coast, but in the inner bay, just gently oozing, wetting the mud and blending in.* As I passed on the path to the meadow, I noticed the peeps; a line of them, just where the mud bubbled as the water soaked in, busily collecting their evening dessert.
The light was against me. The birds were some distance away. I could barely see them. But I had to take photos, anyhow.
|Do you see them? Sandpipers, I think.|
|I'd managed to get a bit closer, and part of the flock relocated, moving up to the new edge, as the tide slid in.|
|Circles of ripply light. Some of the birds seem to have spotted breasts. Juveniles, maybe.|
Further out in the bay, the purple martins were chasing insects, mosquitoes, I hoped, but more likely moths and dragonflies.
Foraging Purple Martins hunt insects higher in the air than other swallows, but in the afternoon and evening they may feed low and close to nest sites. (Cornell)
They flap their wings rapidly for a bit, then coast smoothly for a good distance. At this time of afternoon, they were mostly searching around the nest boxes; it's the first time I've seen them there.
|Nest boxes. I tried, but never caught a martin in flight. They're fast!|
Just wondering: the nest boxes are labelled: 13-81, 01-86, 13-148, and so on. What would the numbers refer to? There are about 15 boxes in all.
Or do purple martins remember their address: "I live in 13-81, Oyster Bay"?
* More about these tide patterns later.