Greetings everyone! I now have a new bittersweet birding experience as of two days ago. Birding to me is about the hunt as much as it is about the execution of the photo capture (which determines whether it can be counted our not based on the highly technical and strict Doerfler Birding Rules – link here). Linda and I have traveled far and wide hoping to track down a specific bird or to just explore new habitats to see what we can find. Every once in a while this cycle reverses in that a bird comes to me. This is exactly what happened to me last Wednesday night. I was working on surveying part of my lot just past dusk when all of a sudden a fluttering was heard over my right shoulder. Startled, I looked back to notice a large object moving my way. First thought was a bat but it looked too big and bulky for such a creature. When it narrowly avoided hitting a tree it was obvious that it wasn’t a bat. It did manage to land about 20 feet from me in a small clearing. For at least a minute I stared at it… trying desperately to make out what it was. The darkness had set in and only a small amount of ambient light was available. The coloring on the back camouflaged it perfectly in the woodsy setting making it impossible for me to get a sharp image. Then it hit me I could take a picture with my phone! The second my hand made it to the phone the chicken like shape bugged out in a large semicircle up and out of view. After a quick call to my brother, we determined it was an American Woodcock. Dammit Dammit Dammit. A few seconds of patience from the bird could have added a +1 to my list. Never have I seen a Woodcock in the wild or in a zoo. It was sweet to see such a cool bird.. but the bitter taste of missing the shot will be with me until I finally get it in the tin.
So instead of a Woodcock post, I bring you this…
Do you recognize that bird? Turns out I had these better shots of the Spotted Sandpiper originally featured during the Yellowstone series (link here). Surprisingly, these shots were actually taken BEFORE the Yellowstone shoot which was in May 2013. These were shot in July of 2012 – wow, I am waaaaay behind on my processing.
Hit the jump to see a couple more shots of the Spotted Sandpiper