Thursday, 2 September 2010

The Baird's Necessities Of Life Will Come To Me

Bit of a weird tide this evening - at its lowest it was still pretty high, making creek-crossing a rather tricky affair.
In fact, I couldn't get over when I first arrived at Holden Creek around 6pm, so I decided to scan from the raised viewing area. A willow flycatcher and common yellowthroat were mucking around in the vegetation and good numbers of American goldfinch were whizzing around.
At first, it looked pretty dead out there until a small flock of waders flew in. Eventually, they landed on the wet mud and I was able to determine that the group was made up of 12 least and 9 western sandpipers.
Scanning over the marsh, it seemed pretty birdless. Then I noticed a couple of shorebirds some 250 metres, or so, away. One was probably a least, but the other was larger... and feeding very slowly and deliberately. It was facing me head-on, appeared short legged and quite 'oval' bodied, but with the sun behind it and at that range, I couldn't really be sure what it was. Could it be the Baird's I've been hoping for?
After a while it turned to present its profile. It looked pretty long winged - surely a Baird's? That feeding behaviour, and profile all pointed to it.
Thinking 'Sod the water, I'm going to get closer.' I cautiously waded through the creek, the rank water about half an inch from the top of my wellies... then had to cross another equally deep channel before arriving, dry on the other side.
Creeping around the edge of the marsh, I finally got the sun behind me and relocated the bird. Bingo! At last! Juvenile Baird's sandpiper. What a cracking bird too.


  1. Congrats Jon. Nice photo!

  2. Cheers Rich - I knew I'd have to find one sooner or later! Now that that's out the way... what next, I wonder?

  3. Sharp-tailed Sandpiper! For all of us man! This could be the month for that bird.....