Thursday, April 13, 2006

Solitary sandpiper

He was really far away. Exceedingly far away. He was in the place where we sometimes see Spotted Sandpipers this time of year. He was bobbing, as they do.

Him: "He's not bobbing."

Me: "Yes he is, see there, he just bobbed."

Him: "He's not bobbing enough to be a Spotted."

Me: "Maybe he just got tired of bobbing."

Of course Hubby was right. He went back and got the scope. No surprise, it wasn't a Spotted Sandpiper.

It was a Solitary Sandpiper (Tringa solitaria).

I really like the French name for this bird: Chevalier solitaire. Lone knight! Makes him sound very suave and sophisticated. The Spanish name is Chorlito solitario. It's probably just the fact that I haven't eaten yet, but that sounds more like a breakfast sausage.

They nest in the far north of Canada and Alaska, in the abandoned nests of other birds, in trees. (Only one of the other 80+ sandpiper species does that - most nest on the ground.) They don't migrate in flocks like other sandpipers. Their favorite song is most likely "I've Gotta be Me".


Floridacracker said...

First stop of the day and already I've learned something. I didn't think any pipers were tree nesters.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

What an interesting bird. A solitary sandpiper. Who knew? As FC said, I learned something new already. I love that bird site link. I've bookmarked it. Fantastic.

Hick said...

That breakfast sausage comment made me laugh out loud.

Sure is a pretty little bird. Reminds me that I haven't seen, or more appropriately heard, any Steller Jays out yet...I need to find out where they go in the winter and since we only have winter here in Northern California (like Narnia) maybe they've moved someplace else permanently.

Ron said...

OOOOooooOOOOOoooo! I am impressed. Nice bird. Great pic!

Hick, Steller's jays sometimes move downslope or just scatter in winter. Or summer. Or whenever and wherever the heck they please. I think they'll come back to bother you, though.

Vermont Neighbor said...

>> Chevalier solitaire

The best name ever. Great story and pic!

threecollie said...

Anyone who can tell sandpipers apart has my undying admiration. We have little ones around here every summer and all I know for sure is that they are not that kind. Great photo.

pablo said...

How many x zoom were you set at to achieve that picture?

Rachel said...

That is a pretty bird! Thanks for sharing the picture and the info!

Rurality said...

FC I didn't know that either until I started hunting for the scientific name and found all that other info. I was pretty surprised that any shorebird did that.

RD in the second link, there are actually two links. Both good!

Hick it does sound a lot like chorizo. :)

Ron, it did turn out better than most of my previous digiscoping photography attempts!

Thanks Vermont Neighbor!

Threecollie, the smaller they are, the harder it gets for me to tell them apart. This one is bigger than the little-bitties and has an eye-ring so it's pretty distinctive.

Pablo, I think I had the camera zoomed all the way in - it's a 10x zoom. And it's held up to the scope, which I think was at the 20x setting.

Thanks Rachel! I think it may be my favorite sandpiper.

JLLove said...

Great post. I'm really interested in how you used a scope with the camera. Does it flip the image? Do you rotate it. What type of scope?

Rurality said...

JLL, this is a scope that you look straight through - no angled lens. It's a Leica APO Televid 77. It's not the best camera-scope combo, and I don't do anything special, I just hold the camera up to the scope. If I were to put a little effort into finding or constructing something to hold the camera on there, the pics would be better I'm sure.

wolf21m said...

Excellent post and great photo. I'm still tryiong to identify a Sandpiper from other species, not within the fanmily. Regarding your scope, I too used to just hold my camera up to teh back of my Swarovski scope. I then found a company that make adapters for lots of scopes and lots of cameras - Scopetronix. I have the Maxview-S with attachments for each of my camera. Photo success went up greatly.