No Ducks, Grebes or Geese but 100’s of shorebirds at Elsie Roemer today. Most abundant were Black-bellied Plovers, Sanderlings, Double-crested Cormorants, Marbled Godwits, Western Sandpipers, Western Gulls, and Least Sandpipers. Also seen in good number were Snowy Egrets, Elegant Terns, Semipalmated Plovers, Dunlin, Willets and Long-billed Curlews. A total of twenty-one species were identified. Elsie Roemer Bird List 10/18/14
Shorebirds in flight. Photo by Sandy Steinman
Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary is at the east end of Marsh Beach in the town of Alameda. It harbors aquatic birds and other salt marsh creatures. A good time to go is just after high tide as this is when many shorebirds come in to feed.
The name Black-bellied Plover can be deceptive this time of year as its belly is only black during the breeding season.
Black-bellied Plover in winter plumage. Photo by Sandy Steinman
A question that came up today was what is the source of the name semipalmated. I found the answer in article Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus — Eastside Audubon. I discovered that “two partially webbed toes which gives our species its name semipalmatus, half palmed, from Latin semi, half and palma, the palm” (Holloway)
We also were wondering about the name Double-crested Cormorant. According to Wikipedia:
The double-crested cormorant was described by Rene Primevere Lesson in 1831. Its scientific name is derived from the Greek words φαλακρος phalakros, “bald” and κοραξ korax, “crow” or “raven”, and the Latin auritus, “eared”, referring to its nuptial crests. Its common name refers to the same nuptial crests.
via Double-crested cormorant – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Double-crested Cormorant in breeding showing white nuptial crests. Photo from Wikipedia