November 16, 2012

Where sanderlings gather . . .

Sanderlings (Calidris alba)
According to Wikipedia; 

"The Sanderling is a small plump sandpiper, 18–20 cm in length. Its weight ranges from 40-100 g. The winter bird is very pale, almost white apart from a dark shoulder patch. The juvenile bird is spangled black and white, and shows much more contrast than the adult. It can be told from other small wading birds, given good views, by its lack of a hind toe."

They gather, they run, they probe for food, and then suddenly they're in flight . . .

Just as suddenly, they've landed. This pattern continues dozens of times as they move down the beach.

"The sun, descending the altar of the year, pauses ritually on the steps of the summer months. The great sun overflows; the year burns on. All these autumn weeks I have watched the great disk going south along the horizon of moorlands beyond the marsh. The turn of the sun's wheel, always the imperative, bright sun."

                                                                   ~ Henry Beston
                                                                        'The Outermost House'