Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Spotted Sandpiper

One really great thing about birdwatching is that you can walk and re-walk trails and you will likely see something different every time.

I recently registered with the Grand Concourse to record the number of times I walk trails. That site also records the amount of calories you burn. That is a real plus. Multi-tasking is my middle name.

Well, I struck out around Long Pond yet again yesterday. When I came up on the small rocky beach just West of the Fluvarium, I found two small Spotted Sandpipers actively feeding.
My reading tells me that this bird is now in its breeding plumage which includes the round spots on its breast. I understand that these markings disappear in the Winter.

At the time I wasn't sure what type of bird this is, but I fired up the shutter on my camera to get record shots. My habit is to photograph, download the shots and then begin the search through my books until I find the match. This one was easy to match up.
The experience is somewhat like collecting trading cards. In the beginning, the goal is to get one of every kind. Through that process, I learn which birds are rare. Everyone wants the rare cards. This little sandpiper is  very common in North America and Newfoundland. It is a "must-have" for any collection.
I don't know the habits of this bird, but it was not open to being friends. Both little ones scurried around and were particularly cautious of my activities. This may change later on. It seems to be very common behavior of the birds that are first returning to the province at this time of the year.
"Late addition of a Spotted Sandpiper in flight." When I went for my routine walk at Long Pond, I spotted the Spotted Sandpipers:) They must be nexting in the area. In a flash the pair lifted off to head West. I was lucky to get a clear shot of one of them showing the wing coloring very well. To complete this entry, I had to upload this shot.

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