Sunday, September 26, 2010

Spotted Sandpiper, Autumn Plumage

While fishing the Meadow Grounds Lake Saturday morning I spotted a couple of sandpipers feeding along the shoreline.  Cautiously approaching with the boat I was able to move to within about twenty feet of this bird as it tipped and bobbed along looking for food.

I was puzzled by the bird as its actions as well as its bill, legs and coloration were consistent with that of the Spotted Sandpiper with the exception of the spots which were missing.  Research revealed that this is the autumn plumage of the spotted sandpiper.  I have encountered these birds during their spring migration but this is my first sighting as they pass through in the autumn.

The shoreline of this lake is surrounded by thick vegetation seldom allowing a photograph of any shorebirds however the water was recently lowered to facilitate dam inspection and possible repairs.  With a few yards of shoreline now exposed I am looking forward to more photographs such as this as the autumn progresses. 

Apparently spotting a tasty morsel the little sandpiper struck an interesting pose for this image.

A strong gust of autumn wind ruffled its feathers and soon will convince these birds to continue their journey southward.


Montanagirl said...

Very nice series of the Sandpiper. He blends in pretty well!

Elaine said...

The color variations in the fall really make IDs difficult. Lovely shots!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Coy, are these the kind that keep bobbing? If so we saw one in our area last year, first and only visit. Your images are really great captures~

Anonymous said...

A great series of photos, Coy!

FAB said...

Nice series Coy. Mant species test us with their varied plumages in the Autumn. FAB.