Thursday, September 10, 2009

Last Call Of The Lone Ranger

The Solitary Sandpiper is seen around here during migration. It's not actually 'solitary,' though it does not migrate in big flocks like most sandpipers do. As this one was doing, it hangs around enclosed ponds and stream edges. In the top photo, the head bobbing that is characteristic can be seen by the outstretched neck. The Solitary Sandpiper has a pronounced eye ring and bright, white spots. Of the eighty-five species of sandpipers, only this one and the Green Sandpiper lay eggs in tree nests. They use the nests of song birds like American robins, Cedar Waxwings and Gray Jays. Maybe that's why they are solitary, no other birds want to hang around slobs like that. I took these photos on the Water Cove Road in Phippsburg in a man made pond that we call Thom's Pond after the guy who has been digging it for twenty years.

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