Friday, July 12, 2019

The Coast!

After seeing a couple rare birds reported that I need to add to my life list I headed for the coast and that is way out of my 5 mile radius. 

                                        walkway to get to the Jetty and North Beach

Huntington Beach State Park.  I totally forget to get a shot of the entrance sign and couldn't find one online either... It was thundering and a shower of rain had just stopped upon my arrival.  I left home about 6:30 am and it's 129 mile drive.  So it was about 9:30 once I entered the park, found a spot in the parking lot, used the restroom and readied my small pack for the walk down to the Jetty.  It is a 1.5 miles hike one way down the beach to the Jetty...

Finally I got to the Jetty the thunder drew closer but I got lucky and the rain never came...the wind did pick up and it was pretty breezy!  Happy about that it made it feel much cooler. 

At the infinity point the jetty turns left and that is my altogether the walk is about 2 1/2 miles to get there.  And this is the there Im referring to...this cove and the surrounding area is shore bird nesting area 

This little spit of sand is the perfect spot for terns, since they have small webbed feet they don't really go swimming, they dive, and take off right back to flight.  They do stand in shallow water.

A black tern had been reported and I had hopes of seeing it...I checked this large mixed black.  But I had royal, sandwich, least, common, and lots of confusing juveniles! 

Mostly royal terns here with Black Skimmers and a few others mixed in...

royal terns on the wing

Least Tern

Juvenile least tern

I listed only 1 common, since this is the only adult I found, I think that one standing behind is an immature but Im not sure so the adult Common Tern  is center front...

And one of my favorite terns the Sandwich Tern

The Black was seen the next day there is only one and he just was not with the majority the day I I guess a second visit?   Lots of Semipalmated Plover walked down the beach..and they were hanging in the nesting area that is fenced off. 

And another target bird for me, and a LIFER this plover has eluded me over and over, but not this time!

The Wilson's Plover!  And not just one but quite a few of them and the bonus---->

with CHICKS...


This cove has a rounded I keep going around the curve and found some Ruddy Turnstone picking through the beach "goodies".  

over a small rise to this shallow pool...lots of small shell here. 

And I still don't know what this immature tern will be when he grows up!  What's your best guess...It is a medium sized tern.  This time of year is very challenging to ID gulls, terns, sparrows, and heck nearly all the new arrivals don't look quite like they should yet! 

I'm going to split this post it's way too long, stay tuned for part II. 

Every day is a new Adventure.


  1. I didn't know you were that close to the beach. What a great place to see most of the birds you were looking for. the chicks are so adorable. I guess you can't camp there? But yes I think you need to go back to find the black term.

    1. Hi Jo, oh yes I've camped here many times but this time of yr its way over crowded, HOT and very expensive $75 a night!!

  2. Hello, love the beach photos. I would love to see the Black Tern and the Wilson's Plover . All the terns are great, I like the Black Skimmers too. The chicks are adorable. Great outing. Have a great weekend, happy birding.

    1. Hi Eileen! I really want to try again for that black tern, I still have half a tank of Gas! ;o)

  3. This is a very attractive area with a pleasing array of birds, gulls, terns, plovers, skimmers - great if you ask me! I think you should get down there a little more often and report to us on the changing mix of birds in different seasons. And seventy-five bucks a night to camp is more than a little exorbitant. I couldn't help but think that the houses one sees are awfully exposed in the event of a hurricane.

    1. Hi David, I wish I could go down there everyday...if Gas was cheaper...and the Jetty is there to try and protect those homes...people really were not using their thinking caps when they built this close to the Ocean!

  4. Love all those terns and plovers, the east coast definitely has us beat in variety there. Plus skimmers! So awesome that you can drive just a few hours and see skimmers. That Wilson's Plover with the youngster is adorable. Looking forward to part 2!

    1. Hi Jen, I love birding at the coast it is awesome! I think you are going to really enjoy living near the coast in your new home. SO nice to have birds standing right out in the open no sorting thru the shadows of leaves in high tree canopy! I was beginning to get cross-eyed sorting thru the terns tho....If only it was not so expensive to be there..tourism has caused the prices of everything in the Myrtle Beach area to rise beyond the reach of me, and most locals. I didn't actually spend one red cent while in the area I bought my gas at home, I didn't stay over, and I packed my own food. So I don't qualify as a tourist. haha

  5. Oh my gosh...that little chick! I am in love. Wonderful.

    1. It was completely adorable all legs and fluff and yet so full of life!! :o)


Comments are appreciated, and reciprocated!