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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

So Many Sandpipers!

Oct 30, 2012 Pouring rain.
Who knew there were so many types of Sandpipers, ninety four world-wide. To the casual observer (non birder type of person) there is little to tell one Sandpiper from another but to the skilled observer tell tale markings like leg colour, shape or length of beak or habitat are some of the clues needed to differentiate one from another.
This year, with the help of a number of birders I have learnt to locate, identify and photograph a number of the Sandpiper family. They include the Stilt, Pectoral, Sharp-tailed, Least, Solitary, Spotted and Western Sandpipers, Long-billed curlew, Marbled godwit, Black-turnstone, Sanderling, Dunlin, Willet, Greater and Lesser yellowlegs, Long-billed and Short-billed dowitchers, Wilson's snipe, Wilson's and Red-necked phalarope.
Today I added the Rock sandpiper to the list, thanks to fellow birder Tak who phoned Raymond and I who had retreated to McDonald's to have a  coffee and warm up. The three of us found the birds on the ferry causeway http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BC_Ferries during a typical B.C. downpour.
Rock sandpiper was feeding with a flock Black turnstones


Preening
It would have been easier to to say home on this grey and cloudy day but I am glad I didn't. Maybe there will be chance to go back when there is some 'Sweet light' but for the moment I'm just happy to have seen this bird for the first time.

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