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We had a great time in Delaware!

No surprise: We spotted red knots in breeding plumage during the Red Knot Reader Rendezvous! Not just red knots: ruddy turnstones, short-billed dowitchers, dunlins, willets—peeps, all in their most distinctive plumage. Perhaps the most impressive show, however, was the horseshoe crabs, thousands of them, swarming the previously empty beach while we watched! Despite a chilly, all-day rain, the birds were most cooperative, and our partners at the American Birding Association knew right where to take us to maximize our checklist. What a trip!

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We birded in the sunshine and rain, in forest, on the beach, and in wetlands. We learned about the amazing and risky migration of red knots, why they depend upon the Delaware Bay and visit so faithfully each May around the full moon. We gained new admiration and respect for an ancient animal and cheered on its unusual mating behavior. We saw shorebirds too numerous to count—in breeding plumage. We made new friends and caught up with old ones. Here are a few photos that capture our fun and the “birdiful” Rendezvous in Delaware.