Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sanderling Sunday

I took these shots of a young sanderling last Saturday during a bird identification class I am taking. I had never seen a sanderling before and was surprised that it approached us as closely and nonchalantly as it did. According to my birding instructor, Jerry McWilliams, however, this is not an uncommon behavior for sanderlings. Sanderlings are pretty small sandpipers, 7-8 inches with a wingspan of 14 inches. They weigh only about 1.4-3.5 oz! That has always amazed me about birds but it shouldn't seeing how they have to be able to fly:)I thought these images would be sharper than they are given his proximity but maybe it was the light mist of the day. At any rate, it was a beautiful bird to see and add to my life list, that is if I kept a list. I really need to start writing these things down:)According to Cornell's All About Birds Bird Guide on-line the sanderling is one of the most widespread wintering shorebirds in the world. It breeds in extreme northern Canada, parts of Alaska, and in parts of northern Greenland, Russia and Norway. The sanderling winters on all coasts from southern Alaska and Nova Scotia and southward to southern Chile and Argentina. Its range is quite incredible.

I wonder where this guy is now. Maybe a quick stop over in Florida, then onto the balmy shores of Argentina. Aaah, the good life.


Desiree said...

These pictures are beautiful! I love the look of juvenile sanderlings. You're making me want to trade in my puny camera. haha.

Towards the end of August, I was walking along the beach among the many tourists and saw a juvie sanderling in the crowd. He was weaving in and out of the radios and beach chairs, eating god knows what, just like a gull! That amazed me since I had never seen sanderlings allow people to be so close to them before! And me without my camera.

NCmountainwoman said...

What a sweet little bird. You captured him beautifully.

Linda in Erie said...

I haven't seen any sanderlings that I know of. You can learn so much reading birders' blogs.

Bird Girl said...

That is one great looking little bird and these pictures are just awesome!

Toni said...

ok I want to know if you were out at Gull Point for this shot. Earlier this year, well actually it was during the bird festival, I was with Tom at Thompson bay and we saw a sandpiper. Darn I didn't have my camera ready.

Your stories about Put-in-Bay makes me want to go there. I'll have to wait till Don is done with school

MicheleRF said...

Thanks everyone for your kind comments.
Desiree-tell Sarah you need a raise to buy a better camera!
Carolyn-Next year I swear I am getting down to those mountains to snap some of your birds.
Linda-you learn a lot writing them too!
Bird Girl-Thanks! He is a cutie, huh!
Toni-I photographed this little one on the beach just west of the channel. There was a lot of bird activity there that day including a Carolina Wren, Nashville and a few other warblers.

HANNIBAL said...

Found your site thru Birdgirl, and love your photography! Very crisp and interesting commentary!