It’s about 53 degrees, and I’m out the door at 6:30 a.m. VENUS is alone in the sky this morning, and the sky is totally clear. It’s cold and windy again. When I got to the Park Beach at about 6:40, I saw a flock of SANDERLINGS flying in. They landed, then flew up and out over the water, and landed again. First time they landed way down toward the far end of the beach. Second time they landed closer to me at the kayak end. They’re such busy, fast moving little birds I had trouble counting them, but I’m estimating 20-25.

Got to the Cedar Cove rocks at 6:50 a.m. and found the SPOTTED SANDPIPER working the edge of the water on the far side of the canal. While I was watching the SANDPIPER, a TRICOLORED HERON flew in and strutted right by the little SANDPIPER, which moved back to let it pass. The TRICOLORED HERON was headed toward the marina, where it has now settled on the edge of the sand near the closest piling that supports the old building that still stands in the middle of the whole Cedar Cove complex.

By 7:05 a.m. I was at the Cedar Cove Townhouses. The SUNRISE was at 6:50 a.m., so the SUN is well above the horizon already. There’s a flock of SANDERLINGS over here too, or maybe it’s the same one I just saw? I counted at least 25 before they scattered over the length of the Old Fenimore Mill beach. The BLACK SKIMMERS  are way over to my left this morning, flying up from and landing on the sand bar/shell bar  near the entrance to the Back Bay. All I see here are GULLS and TWO BROWN PELICANS on the partially submerged beach in front of me. The TIDE is going out, but it won’t be LOW until 9:24 a.m., which explains why the beach is still under water. On my way out the Cedar Cove driveway, I saw a pair of BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS perched on the wires near the basketball court, so there are definitely BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS around here.

I decided to hike all the way down to the Faraway beaches again this morning, and it was worth it. I saw an OYSTERCATCHER strolling by in the shallow water in front of the rock-strewn beach. Its bright red bill was pretty impressive in the morning light. On the pebbly beach, I saw a WILLET in the water and 4 RUDDY TURNSTONES (I think) working the edge of the beach. The foursome flew off, showing lots of white underneath, before I could be sure of my identification. The WILLET wandered down toward the OYSTERCATCHER, and when it got close, the OYSTERCATCHER seemed to be deferring to the WILLET. It moved up onto the beach, and I got a good look at its PINK legs! I also noticed how YELLOW its eyes are. What an amazing combination of colors. When the OYSTERCATCHER went back into the water, it and the WILLET seemed to be friends, and right now they’re feeding quite close to each other.