We went camping in Gloucester at the Cape Ann campsite this past weekend. On a sunny evening, we walked across the road to the Jones River Salt Marsh to look for birds. The tide had come in and the larger birds that we hadn’t seen at low tide had returned.
We saw a snowy egret with its snow-white feathers, dark bill, and yellow feet. I had seen this bird on a California beach but this was my first time seeing it in Massachusetts.
I saw four species for the first time in this salt marsh. A great egret stood stock still just out of water. This bird is larger than the snowy egret, but has a yellow bill and dark legs.
A few lesser yellowlegs were wading in the water.
The third and fourth species were both “semipalmated,” meaning that they have reduced webbing between their toes, helpful for wading. Flocks of semipalmated plovers and semipalmated sandpipers mixed it up.
For some scale, here is the lesser yellowlegs with the sandpipers.
We saw a great blue heron three times, but it was probably the same bird in search of a better spot.
Thanks to Buckeye for differentiating the lesser yellowlegs from its larger brethren, and to Frank Fogarty for the sandpiper ID.
Here’s the full list of birds.