Sandpiper feeding on the beach

Mudflat Banquet

I love watching sandpipers on the beach, though they move so fast it’s hard to keep up with them: they rush along on their tiny legs, come to an abrupt stop, dip their beaks down for a moment, then rush on to the next spot, usually just a few feet away.

The sandpiper in the photo above was part of a flock we encountered in Potts Lagoon on West Cracroft Island. Unlike the sandpipers that I wrote about last year, who were relaxing in the sun at Blunden Harbour, the ones at Potts were hard at work, taking advantage of the low tide to gather their dinner.

While it might just look like sand to us, low tide provides a veritable banquet for hungry sandpipers, who feed on micro-organisms that live in the surface film of the mud. If the activity level of these birds is any indication, those tiny morsels must pack a powerful punch of nutrition – or maybe they’re just incredibly tasty!

We’re off the grid for most of the summer, with only occasional access to the internet. I welcome, as always, your comments – but it might be awhile before I can reply.

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About Laurie MacBride, Eye on Environment

Photographer focused on nature and nautical on the BC coast

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