Ladies are you trying to get your non-birding mate to go out birding with you? Well, I have discovered the key to getting them interested. Suggest beach birding and wear a skimpy suit and you won't believe how quick they are to not only bird but even offer to carry things like spotting scopes and Sibley guides. For those who feel a little modest and not ready for the world to see you in something skimpy, take heart. Normal people don't like to go to refuge beaches, so the two of you can feel like you are the only ones on the beach for miles around (chances are quite good that you are).
Today, Non Birding Bill and I headed to Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and since it was so hot, I didn't do the typical hard-core birding I like to do but took a leisurely walk around the nature center and the beach. NBB found an immature green heron and tried digi scoping with my Vortex binos and got a pretty cool shot. The young heron was so busy preening he didn't notice us. I heard NBB grumbling for the heron to face him, so I gave my best green heron "keeeow" and NBB got the above shot. We found a male indigo bunting singing at the top of a tree and in an adjacent tree was a singing male blue grosbeak. I tried to digi scope, but alas the sun was at the worst angle and the photo didn't do the birds any justice.
On the beach we some willets and gulls but no terns or sanderlings which we normally see but we usually are in Virginia in August not mid-July which could explain their absence. The gulls were far away, but never underestimate the power of Oyster Crackers when watching gulls. I barely opened the bag and they flew in. In the photo at the right we have mostly adult and immature ring-billed gulls, a lone juvenile laughing gull in the center, and the large spotty guy in the back is an immature great black-backed gull.
Ring-billed gulls are so photogenic, I never get tired of watching them. NBB is fascinated with their ability to stay so white living in and around the ocean. Some other things we saw at the beach which you probably wouldn't expect include deer (yes they really are everywhere), red fox and a bobwhite. Actually, I only heard the bobwhite, but still it was in the grasses in the dunes. It's very strange and unsettling to be listening to the crashing surf and then hear "bobwhite".
More photos will be poppin up as Bill and I find open wireless connections. Thank goodness for Panera.