This lone sanderling was obviously finding snacks beneath the seaweed on a wave-washed rock.
Willets are large sandpipers whose bold white-and-black wing patterns in flight make them easy to identify. In breeding season, the drab gray gives way to a brown coat speckled with white.
Sanderling are common along outer beaches, where they often feed in large flocks, running back and forth with the waves.
These red knots are wintering along the coast of South Carolina. Some members of this species undertake one of the longest migrations in the avian world, from the southern tip of South America to their breeding grounds in the Arctic.
Piping plover is one of our smallest shorebirds, nesting on outer beaches from the mid-Atlantic states northward. Coastal development has taken a toll on these birds, which are listed as either threatened or endangered throughout their range in the U.S. and Canada.
Bonaparte’s gulls, one of our smaller gulls, dance over the water hunting for food.
Went birding today at Huntington Beach State Park, south of Myrtle Beach, S.C. Cloudy, temp in the high 40s, light northerly breeze.
Walked from the parking lot at the beach to the Murrell’s Inlet jetty, then out the jetty for a vantage of the open ocean.
Shorebirds on the beach included red knot (flock of about 20 birds), willet, sanderling, semipalmated plover, piping plover, American oystercatcher, and ruddy turnstone.
Looked for purple sandpiper along the jetty but didn’t see.
A couple of Bonaparte’s gulls were fishing the outgoing tide in the inlet, as were a small flock of white-winged scoters.
Saw a handful of gannets diving far out to sea. Also a lone horned greebe and a couple of brown pelicans.
Driving in across the causeway, we saw a couple of white pelicans soaring overhead.
On the way out, looked for a reported American avocet but didn’t find.