At 6 pm today wide stretches of mud lay exposed along the park side of the North Basin. The low tide, rated at zero minus point three, had dozens of Mallards active near shore, able to gabble through the water weeds and mud just by bending their necks down, without going into full dabbling position with rump in the air.
The season’s first Marbled Godwits, seven of them by my count, stitched the mud with their long, delicate pink beaks. Because of the fading light and the distance, my photos came out quite grainy, but the birds’ identity is clear enough.
Better, because nearer, was my snapshot of a Savannah Sparrow — maybe the same individual I’d photographed a week earlier, or maybe another. It has the same yellow eyebrow and the pinkish bill.
Tomorrow, Saturday, an even lower tide (-0.74) is forecast for the same time in the evening. If there’s enough light to shoot pictures, it might be quite a shorebird show.