Sunday, November 9, 2014

Peeps at the Boat Launch

1. semipalmated plover-kab Semipalmated Plover in the cove at Mere Point Boat Launch

Ever since I moved to Mere Point I have been counting birds at the Boat Launch. Every time I go there I would look for “peeps,” those tiny little shorebirds we all like to see when we are near the ocean. Yet all through winter, spring and summer I never saw a one…until fall migration. You can only imagine my surprise and delight when I went down to count birds on September 3rd and found the little cove next to the boat ramps filled with peeps! Until then I had only seen Great Blue herons and Snowy Egrets in the shorebird category. Then, on the evening of August 22nd, I saw my first Spotted Sandpiper out on the rocks. It flew in low over the bay, landed brief on the rocks, then flew away again.

2. rocky shore-kab But, on the morning of September 3rd I went down mid-morning to count birds. I was so surprised to find my own little cove filled with peeps! The tide was going out and the first bird I saw was a much larger Greater Yellowlegs feeding along the tide line in the cove.

3. yellowlegs-kab Already a good bit of the mudflats was revealed.


4. greater yellowlegs-kab The Yellowlegs used its long legs to wade into the water.

Then I noticed the peeps.

5. semiplamated sandpiper-kab A Semipalmated Sandpiper came closer.


6. plovers in mud-kab Then the Semipalmated Plovers drew near.


7. plover foraging-kab I love the way they lift and fold their feet while feeding!


8. yellowlegs foraging-kab The larger Greater Yellowlegs does this as well.

Later in the month I also found a Lesser Yellowlegs in the cove.

We have both species here in Maine.

9. Mere point cove 9-3-14 As the tide continued to recede more and more of the rocks were revealed and for the first time ever I went out on the rocks. I wanted to get closer to the birds and get better pictures. I soon learned I need to find out how to photograph birds in such reflective conditions. Plus, my lens is still doing that chattery thing, so sometimes it just wouldn’t focus right. Still, I did get proof I saw these birds!

11. tiny peeps-kab Can you find the peeps in this photo?

There are 4 in this cropped shot, but there were many more running around on the rocks and in the mud! The Semipalmated Sandpipers and Semipalmated Plovers seem to like hanging out with each other. I often found them together.

12. crow-kab Whenever I am at the boat launch counting birds I am usually being watched by a crow high in an Eastern white Pine. Sometimes the other crows are feeding down on the rocks in the eel grass as well!

12. yellowlegs and a beer can-kab This soupy mud intimidates me, but not the Greater yellowlegs!

You can see its size in comparison to a beer can someone left behind!

13. Mere Point cove from dock 9-3-14 This is a view of the cove as seen from the end of the floating dock.


14. heron-kab On September 5th the inevitable Great Blue Heron flew in.


15. snowy egret-kab It was soon followed by a Snowy Egret.

I saw snowies here several times, but never a Great Egret.

16. osprey-kab During the summer I often saw osprey flyover the bay.

This one flew over when I was counting birds for World Shorebirds Day on September 5th. I was so glad to finally add some shorebirds to my Mere Point Boat Launch bird list! All the eel grass has turned brown now with the colder weather and water temperatures and I am now searching the rocks for a Purple Sandpiper! I will let you know if I ever find one here!

18. yellowlegs-kab Greater Yellowlegs 9-5-14


19. semiplamater plover-kab Semipalmated Plover 9-3-14

20. eel grass in cove 9-3-14 Mere Point Cove with eel grass covered rocks


  1. They always seem so agile on those lovely long legs. Great post and super photos Kathie. Thank you for visiting my Dartmoor pony posts, and for leaving those lovely comments. Have a great week :)

    1. Denise, I know! I am glad you liked this post! I loved your Dartmoor Ponies!

  2. During all the years I lived in Maine, I've never been to Mere Point! It's certainly a beautiful place, and your pictures all came out great.

  3. HI Kathie
    I am NOT happy with the comment above on your post and have no idea why you would allow it on your blog. I did enjoy your post seeing all the waders. Your shots were great.

    1. Dear Margaret, I did not like that comment either but it took me a few minutes to realize it was on this blog and not Birding is Fun. As you can see, I have deleted the comment. I am sorry you had to read that.

      I am glad you enjoyed my post anyways.

  4. Hi Kathie. I very much appreciate that you have removed the objectionable comment. Thank you. Have a great week.

    1. Margaret, apparently the spammer was making the rounds because he did hit the Birding is Fun blog as well, but both comments have now been removed.

  5. Great pix of the plovers! I often have a hard time getting good ones of birds. Wish I had a better lens and a steadier hand!

    1. Nina, thanks. these are not the best but I did want to show that I had seen them. I am finding it much harder to hold my camera still the older I get. It's hard to admit that, but it's true. Still, I always enjoy seeing the birds! Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

  6. What a wonderful morning seeing all those shorebirds!

  7. Hi Kathie and thanks so much for visiting my blog (Dartmoor Ramblings). I'm so delighted to have found yours and seen your beautiful photos. I particularly like those Yellowlegs. What a brilliantly literal name!

    1. Em, I was delighted to find your blog and thank you for visiting mine. Yes, those yellowlegs give that species away and help distinguish it from the similar willets we get here.

  8. Nice shot on those yellowlegs! Where were they when I was there??!!! Such cool birds:)


Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.