Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Solitary Sandpiper

 I have seen so many new birds over the last three weeks that I hardly know where to begin with my postings. Because of the backlog of pictures, I have processed those of which I have less pictures to keep the ball rolling.

I spotted this Solitary Sandpiper on August 20, 2011 at Forest Pond. It just goes to show how important it is to keep checking known bird spots over and over. You never know when an uncommon bird is going to fly in.
This one didn't stay very long on that day. I have since learned that the behaviour of the Solitary Sandpiper is important to relocating it. Apparently, it feeds in one location and goes to another to roost. I think this was the roosting spot and it was anticipated that it would return. It did from time to time over the next few days and was seen by several persistent birders who kept checking.

While finding an uncommon bird is really special, for me at my stage of learning it was even more special for me to pour over all of the pictures in the guides and come up with the identification. Some of the best clues for identifying this bird were the white specks on its back, the greenish/yellow legs, its size, white eye ring and the narrow white stripe running from the eye to the beak. I must confess that it took be about an hour of checking all of my guides to come up with the ID.

While this bird has been documented to migrate through Newfoundland, it is still considered rare. This has been a good year for us with the Solitary Sandpiper because there were six found in Renews and some other stray reports around the province. It seems we are making up for the lull that we have had during the summer months, possibly due to the weather.

Now, I have a new dilemma: An American Avocet has been spotted about an hour out of town. Do I just pick up and go in chase of this very rare bird?  Maybe....

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