This week we have been having some unusual birds visit us. At first we just had the Stilts out on a flooded farmer's field. Four of them flew unexpectedly in upon the marsh. They are supposed to be much farther south I think. I am unfamiliar with them. They are Black-necked Stilts. (I am doing a few "u" words for ABC Wednesday.) (Non-Bloggers: The unacceptable text I am doing is for a game we bloggers play called a meme.)
I am not really a good birder, I usually take a few bad bird photos and I study the birders. My husband is the unequivocal birder. The Stilts did not go unnoticed for long. At first the field was empty, just the little Stilts uninterrupted in their quest for food and lodging. They are rare birds for our area. (my pictures are really terrible this week but I went out and got great pictures after I had already done the draft of this blog, too late to get them in now...grrrrrr.)
After a few days, the word went out and the little Stilts became the hot birding twitch of the week. When we last arrived to see them, a birding lady, binoculars in hand, marches up to us and asks if we have seen them. The berm is lined with long dark scopes and men peering unerringly through them as if they are the swat team ready to take down a unruly criminal.
As we leave a bus drives in and out jumps another group of excited birders. "Have you seen them" they ask. We kindly showed them where the birds are. I would rather they were left undisturbed to build their nest and raise baby Stilts. But you can't undo a birder's desire to get a lifer. It is as if his life depends upon it. Birders are coming from all over the island and from the mainland to see them.
That reminds me of the story of the rare Snowy Egret that has come to see us also this week. He has arrived at a local mudflat. We happened to arrive there at the same time. He would hide in the undergrowth sometime but soon he was uncovered and the tilly hats, long scopes and even longer camera lenses appeared. I took one picture of a birder sitting on the berm looking quite bemused as the Egret flew directly over his hat, almost landing on it. Occasionally a car would drive in, a birder would jump out quickly take his snap or plop up his scope for a minute, put a mark in his book. Then run back to his car and be off upon another lifer search. I am unable to understand birding! I spend hours just looking for a bird and then I like to spend hours studying it!
So in here today I have put in a few poor pictures of these birds at the mud flats but as I said before I am not a good birder and now I have probably insulted any birder friends and readers I had or ever hope to have! Hope they can take the joke. This is just for fun. I love to watch the birders while my husband goes for his birding walk. And the birds are all fine and seem to be unscathed and unaffected by all the interest in them.
Another exciting picture from Muzza below, he found the Cinnamon Teals.
So picture credit for this one to lucky Muzza, brother-in-law.
Last week my husband wandered back after his birding walk and smugly says to me, oh I saw the Yellow-headed Backbird and the Yellowthroats, the Sandhill Cranes and even a Snipe. All I have seen is other birders!
But I do secretly want to be one of them, I bought a tilly hat and binoculars and hope I can try to fit in somewhat with them all. Wish me luck with that if they read this!
Forgot to mention that we also had around 200 shorebirds arrive here on a mudflat....so if I get time I will put in some pics of them. Some were rare but they were shy and have left the area now as it is getting dry...here are some shots I got. The birders told me one was a Pectoral Sandpiper and I think the other one is perhaps a Long-billed Dowicher...I don't know? Any birders out there? Pics click larger to look and see who they are.
Update on the Stilts: the farmer who owns the field is consulting with a hydrologist as he needs to drain the field and plant but the Stilts need six weeks with water around to nest. The farmer has been kindly allowing many birders to walk his berm is search of the Stilts. Hopefully we will get to see baby Stilts!!
The Stilts are nesting for the first time on Vancouver Island. There have not been Stilts here for 25 years. Also some Sora Rails and Spotted Sandpipers have been seen in the area.
The memes for this week are: ABC Wednesday the letter "u". Thank you to these memes for allowing bloggers to share their story. I may not remember to enter them all but I still list them as this is the quick way for me to do it.
Show off Your Shot
Our World Tuesday
Sweet Shot Tuesday
World Bird Wednesday
Wordless Wednesday with Words
Nature Notes Wednesday
edit note: I sometimes have to republish after I see how many errors made or links not working. I list all the memes for the week now
as I can only spend a short time on the computer or my eyes get tired. Such is life.
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