Sunday, November 17, 2013

Snow Bunting Storm

It was all gray and wet today, but yesterday was gloriously clear and warm. I couldn't very well pass up the chance to go outside with weather like that! It'd been a while since I was last at the shore, so I headed off to Milford Point for an awesome beach-filled afternoon.

The tide was the lowest I've ever seen it here, and I walked across wide expanses of wet sand under the prettiest blue sky (a sailboat makes the scene even prettier):

Actually, most of the ground I walked on was covered with mussel and oyster shells (and beds of living shellfish, too). It felt very strange to be walking right on the ocean floor:

Mysterious creatures buried in the sand kept spitting jets of water into the air as I walked here. More molluscs, perhaps?

The scenery was undeniably cool, but my favorite part of the visit was a big flock of Snow Buntings (at least 100 birds) that kept flying back and forth across the beach. These little birds are super cute. Of course, they wouldn't come near (or sit still) enough for close up pictures, but their white/black/brown costumes made a cool sight as they blew around the beach in their little chirping flurries:

I've only seen Snow Buntings a couple of times before, and only at the shore in winter. It was cool to see so many of these fancy little winter visitors at once!

Some more familiar winter shore birds were around, too: dozens of American Black Ducks, a flock of Brant, and a couple of Common Loons way out in the water.

These two Red-breasted Mergansers were foraging close to the shore:

They were pretty well synchronized in their underwater hunts, a pair of snorklers floating by:

I couldn't resist taking a picture of this handsome Ring-billed Gull, too:

Then the afternoon got later and the light got redder, and the scenery was awesome in new ways. I love this brilliant marsh grass (with what I'm assuming are high-tide markings):

I'm glad I took advantage of the lovely weather to visit the shore!


  1. I live in central CT, so I don't get to the shore that often which makes me enjoy your pictures even more.

  2. Thank you for sharing a great day, especially the rainbow at the end.