Radar, find me a new bird!
Some sort of medium-sized sandpiper with big brown spots.
White eye ring, yellowish legs. I thought maybe a Spotted Sandpiper? I got confirmation on Facebook’s What’s This Bird.
From Cornell Lab of Ornithology…
The dapper Spotted Sandpiper makes a great ambassador for the notoriously difficult-to-identify shorebirds. They occur all across North America, they are distinctive in both looks and actions, and they’re handsome.
The Spotted Sandpiper is the most widespread breeding sandpiper in North America.
This one appeared to be traveling solo, and didn’t linger long.
At Jensen Beach Causeway this morning, Radar was also a big help carrying my keys, clipped to collar and leash. Reminder to self: wear something with pockets when you’re juggling camera and dog on leash.
Audubon, Spotted Sandpiper…
Most sandpipers nest only in the far north, but the little “Spotty” is common in summer over much of North America. As it walks on the shores of streams, ponds, and marshes, it bobs the rear half of its body up and down in an odd teetering motion. When startled, it skims away low over the water, with rapid bursts of shallow wingbeats and short, stiff-winged glides. Even where it is common, it is seldom seen in flocks.
Yesterday morning a flock of Eastern Bluebirds, maybe 8 or 10, visited the edge of our back field. They spent time in the shrubby undergrowth plucking tiny rose hips and fat winterberries.
I had my German Shepherd pup Radar with me. It was a beautiful winter morning and I had seen and photographed bluebirds, oh joy! We walked down the long path to Grandfather Pine. Radar crossed the little creek and came back with…
… a deer leg. Probably dropped by a coyote. There have been lots of coyote tracks out back this winter.
The deer leg was, unfortunately, the most amazing and delicious toy/ snack he has ever had in his six months of happy life.
He ran around and jumped for joy. Then he set about gnawing flesh and bone and playing keep away when I got near.
I had a very hard time getting it away from him and getting him back inside. I tricked him finally by whizzing a frisbee past him. He dropped the leg and chased the frisbee. I got the leg and disposed of it in a plastic bag tossed in our trash. Then he wouldn’t drop the frisbee and come inside. I had to fake him out with “go for a ride in the car? go for a walk in the woods?” He jumped in the open back of my Subaru Outback. Then I felt compelled to actually follow through on my promise, since he smart and will stop believing me if I don’t do what I say. That deer leg brought out the wild beast in him.
This morning he pooped out deer fur.
Right after I posted this, some bluebirds (members of the same flock?) showed up at our feeders. It is a very cold morning, 5 degrees, and they are boosting their calorie intake with some peanuts and safflower seeds. Must make some more homemade suet dough today!
This fellow held still long enough for some nice pics…
A walk along the edge of the red maple swamp in our backyard, and a dove is watching us.
Intrepid explorers are we. Snow and ice but the swamp is not all the way frozen yet. Soon.
Radar is 5 months old now. From our mudroom door out through the woods, to the field by the pond, then along a path as far as we can go into the red maple swamp and back is a half mile, a nice morning walk for the pup and us.
He knows the word “birds” and looks up to see them fly.