Shorebird Festival — Winged Wonderland

At the Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge, it’s hard to pick out individual shorebirds with the naked eye. Without the help of binoculars or scopes, the birds are a large, brown mass packed so closely together that it’s hard to see the mudflats they’re standing on.

But looking closer, one can see several species of birds — Western sandpipers, black-bellied plovers and short-billed dowitchers to name a few — rapidly jabbing their sharp beaks into the mud to feed on crustaceans and worms.