Those confusing shorebirds!

and a contest winner.  Back on April 12, I did a “name that photo” contest.  I never chose a winner, but I would like to say today that the prize goes to Musing Egret for her caption, “Honey bee still!”  So, M.E., please contact me via email and we will go from there in order for you to choose a photo you would like printed, suitable for framing.

The focus right now is on the birds and other wildlife that will potentially be harmed by the recent turn of terrible events in the Gulf of Mexico, southeast of the bird’s eye delta of our fair state.

I would rather focus on the birds that are alive and well and know enough not to land on top of or walk on water that looks abnormal or spooky.  These birds were seen recently when one of my readers, and now new friends, came down for a visit.

Even though I attended a half-hour class on how to ID these little beauties, I think I failed the class, because I still can’t readily identify them.  They are like the gulls to me—too many different kinds to learn.  So, I will have to study them all, including all the different gulls–maybe when I retire!

I will have to defer to our in-house birding experts who know more than I in this regard; i.e. maybe Kim or Choup.  Will you help me out here?

I think I know what they are from using my Sibley, but I’m just not sure.  They were all in the same flooded field, eating crawfish and other things.

These were the smallest of the diners, and I think we might be related. I’m guess this is a “Wilson’s Snipe”.  I still don’t know what my cousins thought was so funny about going “snipe hunting”.  Some kind of joke I never caught on to.

Then there were these taller, more grayish looking ones.  I think they might be willets, but what do I know?

This one cracked me up with its leg raising dance.  What is this, y’all?

And here is yet another kind.  This one was more grayish and blackish.  Does that help with the ID?

And yet one more.  I promise you–they were all in the same place, eating and fighting over crawfish.

Help!  I’m so confused!

Off to les le bon temp roulez, in spite of the gloom and doom,

TRANSLATE:  Off to eat some boiled crawfish in spite of the oil spill,


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  1. I’m stumped too! I have NO idea what these birds are called. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of them.

  2. Bird no. 1 is a Long Billed Dowitcher
    Bird no. 2 is a Willet
    As far as I can tell bird 3 – 5 are all Willets. The speckled feathers are breeding plummage. I’m not positive on these last 3 birds. I would have liked to have seen them in person. Willets are easiest to ID by their call which is very disctinctive and loud. Also, when in flight their wing feathers have a black and white pattern that is easy to see.

    Shore birds ARE extremely confusing! The best way to ID shorebirds is to take pictures of them and study them against field guides later.

    1. . . . which is what I’ve been doing. If I told you the first birds were very tiny, would you still say dowitcher? Yes, I think you’re right, but they surely seemed small to me.

      Oh, and yes they are all willets, IMHO, too, because I did see the wing pattern but did not hear the call–they were too busy eating and trying to steal each other’s food!

      1. Dowitchers aren’t that big. I’ve found bird size is relative to how your eyes are working on that certain day. Some days birds seem bigger or smaller to me for whatever reason.

  3. I am jealous of you having a crawfish boil! My husbands company picnic/crawfish boil was canceled because the dude ranch apparently sold. Lots of upset people from a lot of companies that had reserved in advance. Eat some for me please!!!

    1. Oh, Cammy. I’m so sorry, cuz they were fat, and spicy, and delicious! And the price is going down, finally! My son hosted it for us, but we had it at Camp Dularge. Lovely time!

  4. Whoo-hoo! I just posted those same birdies on my blog! No, not the WP blog, the WU blog, where the great “I’m pretending to be someone else” journey took place.

    Thank goodness that’s over – it was great fun traveling with a 5′ paper doll, but I’m ready to be me and stop worrying about posting under the wrong name.

    We had the best time, and learned so much, and I swear I’m going to make regular runs over that direction now that I know how easy it is.

    And by the way – guess who I found on a forum back in 2008 or so talking about the Dularge compass. You know – the one with only three directions: up the bayou, down the bayou and across the bayou! LOL

    Wendy, you are just the best. Looking forward to more fun in the future!

    1. I came very close to calling you yesterday morning to see where you were and if you’d gone home. I hadn’t heard a peep from you since you left here a week ago. I’ll go see PB’s post now! Do you mind if I post yours and Joan’s pic in this post? I wanted to post about your visit but didn’t because of the travel game you were playing. Has the possessor of PB been revealed yet?

      1. I was just swamped when I got home because I kept posting about Otherbug’s journey AS THOUGH she were still there!

        Yes, I’ve been revealed and you’re free to post whatever you like. And sure enough, I got phone calls from the bear line and wildlife folks I called – they were going to check out the carcass themselves, just to be sure.

        Again, we had the best time, and you can look forward to seeing yourself on WordPress in the medium future!

        1. “medium future”? LOL! As opposed to “near future” I presume? It’s a hog, it’s a hog, it’s a hog! I think Quinta Scott must have gotten a ping back from your wunderground post because she asked me if she could contact you for permission to use what you said about her and the book. I gave her your email address and first name, so be looking for an email from this wonderful kindred spirit! I see another ladies’ trip to Camp Dularge in the medium future . . . . .

    1. I was about to send the posse looking for you, girl. If I didn’t see you alive on FB from time to time, I would think you were lost out there in OK cow country!! LOL! Good to hear from ya! I did, they were very good!

  5. BW, would you post how your family fixed the crawfish? We have decided to order some thru our local grocery store (they have been advertising live ones by special order) and have our own boil/bbq cookout here, God willing and the oil doesn’t ruin it for us. We hope to have it the 15th or 22nd.

    We have had shrimp boils and I use the boxed/bottled seasonings but, never our own live crawfish boil. My son has a huge turkey deep fryer set w/basket and we are going to use it. We are not sure what all to add to the pot for seasoning. I know my son wants to cook the red potatos, corn and toss in some artichokes but not sure what else we need.

    1. Don’t forget to throw in some wieners, smoked sausage, mushrooms (not too long though, they REALLY soak up the seasoning and can get too hot), whole unpeeled garlic and onions. Be careful with the corn too. They too suck up the seasoning.

  6. Who dat cousins went snipe hunting? I know I went to watch the submarine races at the “point” on Lake Pontchartrain. Yeah, OK. We went snipe hunting up in Benton. Same thing……….different areas.

    Been frettin’ about the spill since day one. I’m hoping to be doing some work, locally, for the Lake Pontchartrain Foundation but it’s not what I really want to do. I’d rather be doing something near the coastal areas to stop intrusion there.

    As always Cuz, your pictures are right on the spot. And congrats on the anniversary of the birth of you baby boy!