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Our scheduled diarist, SallyCat, was unexpectedly called to work, so she asked me to step in and help this morning. Given the short notice and the fact that there's no time to develop a coherent theme, I thought I'd just offer a mostly-photos Dawn Chorus here this morning and ask you all to contribute your own photos to flesh it out.

Where I live, the shorebirds have started to show up in greater numbers in the last few weeks, so I thought I'd share what I'm seeing. No shorebirds where you are? Then feel free to contribute whatever it is you're seeing in your area. Let's make this a community diary.

First up is a Greater Yellowlegs, a handsome fellow trolling for aquatic insects here. You can certainly tell by the quality of the light that autumn is here.

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Here is a Killdeer, not quite as invisible as he thinks.

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The Killdeer above decided to join his fellow birds on the paved path next to the water where they held an important Killdeer conference. What do you suppose they're talking about?

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Speaking of conferences, it seems like every species in the water decided they should all gather in this one cubic yard of space for some reason. There must be some tasty food available at this spot, because I can't think of another reason they'd all be ganged up like this. How many species do you count in this photo? Bonus points if you can name each of them.

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This little cutie is a Pied-billed Grebe. The definition of pied is two or more colors, similar to the word piebald or dappled or pinto, in case you were wondering.

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Ducks are plentiful now as well. This whole flock of whatever they are took to the air before I could ID a single one of them. I'm lousy at identifying ducks in flight. Any takers? They were not all Mallards, I know that. Could be Northern Pintails.

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Black-necked Stilts are out in big numbers this time of year. Here's a lovely female (browner in color).

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And here's a handsome male (blacker in color).

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And here's a whole flock of them airborne.

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Here's a group of Long-billed Dowitchers feeding.

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American Coots are more plentiful than any other waterfowl species this time of year. They number in the hundreds in many areas.

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Last weekend, I went looking for Sandhill Cranes. They flew overhead, but I didn't see any land anywhere near me. I got this shot of one in flight.

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The American Avocets have lost their cinnamon color of breeding season and are now in their familiar winter plumage of black and white.

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Last but not least, an elegant Snowy Egret makes an appearance, one of the most graceful birds of all.

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What are you seeing in your neck of the woods?

Originally posted to Birds and Birdwatching on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 06:06 AM PDT.

Also republished by J Town.

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