Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Rope-A-Dope Phalaropes!

The Salton Sea is a weird place, so naturally it's popular with weird birds, like gender-role reversing Phalaropes. There were hundreds of Wilson's Phalaropes along the Salton shore, and sprinkled in among them, along with other waders and shorebirds, were little clans of Red-necked Phalaropes.

They were not as close to the shore as many of the other birds, and since they were in fact among the smallest birds at the beach that weren't also Peeps, I can understand how they wanted to keep a safe distance. At any rate, they still afforded better looks than I'd ever had in Phoenix, and their non-breeding plumage combined with the high temperatures to make me hungry for cookies n' cream ice cream.

Pops and I saw many birds around the Sea and I took many photos, but I think this distant shot of the chubby little Phalarope riding the tide is my favorite. Underneath this bird, the rotting remains of 94,328,954 fish drag back and forth across the sand, pushed and pulled by the gentle tide. Luckily, none of that shows up in the photos.