Tuesday, February 14, 2012

World Bird Wednesday - Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Back into the world of today for this post.

This rather dapper looking wader is a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper. I’ve had more than I few of these in the hand and they are not sharp at all!

This bird came to check us out as we were waiting to fire the nets on a recent banding trip. Somebody asked me ‘how do you know it’s a sharpie’ – and it made me think about all the little bits of data which birders (and to call me a ‘birder’ really is a bit of a stretch) carry about in their heads. Leg colour?, beak length?, habitat?, eye brow stripe? and such like. How come I can do this, but I forget to buy the milk on the way home?

So, here we have a great little bird that I few years ago would have just been a ‘wader’ of some sort, but has now entered that remarkable product of human evolution – my brain!
I remain is awe of some of the people I know – people who can pick out single birds from flocks of many and name them with the same kind of confidence with which I spell my own name.

So, here is a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper.

You can find more birds – and probably less nonsense - at World Bird Wednesday.

You can find less birds and more of this kind of nonsense at my other blog – click the Paying Ready Attention image on the RHS of the screen.

Enjoy the birds.

24 comments:

Liz said...

Great post Stewart! This is a great bird which I have only seen in other's photos. I love seeing all the Aussie birds I may have the chance of capturing one day. I enjoyed your humour too :)

I wish I could discover as many different birds as you and others do. For the moment, I take every opportunity to discover birds in my various travels and hope to come across ones I haven't seen before. When that happens, I go home and Google the bird or look for it in a book I have called "Wildlife of Greater Brisbane"... I really need a good bird identification book! But for the moment I am doing OK and I have learned the differences enough to tell what kind they are (sea birds, waders, etc)... still learning, sigh.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I enjoyed the nonsense! And the bird. My brain hasn't evolved as far as yours far -- I might be able to guess it was a sandpiper (or else I'd just call it a shorebird!!

Meg said...

Perfect photo!

TexWisGirl said...

i will never be that type of 'sharp' birder. :)

Gary said...

He is a sharpie in looks anyway. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Martha Z said...

I doubt that I will ever be able to identify a wader in the field. It can take me an hour at the computer comparing my shot with others on the web to feel confident of an ID.

heyBJK said...

Lovely shots, Stewart! That's one of those birds that looks a lot like other birds and would take some real effort for me to ID. Kinda like gulls.

eileeninmd said...

Hi Stewart, lovely photos of the Sharp Tailed Sandpiper. I am just so-so at birding. I have trouble with shorebirds and seagulls. Oh and sparrows. And the list could go on and on. I guess it is easier after years of practice and going over guide books. Great post, I enjoyed reading your post.

Andrew said...

It's a beauty Stewart and many thanks for sharing it..
A lovely post to read..

Carletta said...

Nice series Stewart!
I especially like the second one with the reflection - lovely shot!

mick said...

Great photo of the little 'Sharpie'. For some reason we are not seeing as many of them as we used to.

Crafty Gardener said...

Great photos

holdingmoments said...

Love the quote about forgetting the milk lol Yea, sounds like me too Stewart.
Great post.

Wanda..plain~N~simple said...

Great post Stewart, I enjoyed reading it. I haven't ventured beyond my backyard yet, but plan to do so when the weather gets warmer. My birding skills are amateur at the moment and require much time with books and online resources. I'm a Newby! ;)

CameraCruise said...

Beautiful shots of the beautiful bird!
Don't you have geese 'down there'?
Have a great day.
Greetings Mette

darlin said...

Excellent photos Stewart, I enlarged them for a birds eye view. ;-)

I see you are a daily photo blogger, awesome! I'm going to tag along for the ride if you don't mind, thanks for the visit tonight, your kind words and wisdom sharing.

Cheers.

John said...

What a bird! A real `mega` here in the U.K., it`s not fair that you get to see them all the time! ;)
J
Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

Imaginography said...

Hi. Nice bird shots. Looks like it was a nice day for getting out and about with a camera :)

joo said...

Lovely photos of the interesting birds!

Carole M. said...

enjoyed reading your Sandpiper post Stewart; great way with words. I'm sure you're a true birder with your hands-on involvement with the banding etc. You would certainly get to know some of the up close and personal details.

bailey-road.com said...

I love the reflection in the second shot!

Springman said...

Awesome Stewart. Wouldn't it be sweet if all these little factoids didn't have a way of melting into the green mush that is becoming my senior citizen brain. I keep a notebook in my pocket as a back up to my short term memory deficiencies. Now, if I could just remember which pocket!

Connie Smiley said...

What a delight, in words and photos! That first shot is so winsome. By the way, Springman had a very interesting result with his Audubon bird call in the comment after yours. I'm going to keep trying.

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi Stewart Many thanks for sending me the link. It must have been greatto have held this small wwader in your hand. I am just off with my friend from the I.O.W. to go birding all day. I think after 7 days I will be exhausted but I hope she will enjoy it as she has not been ot N.Ireland before.