Friday, May 21, 2010

Whatever works, works

In one of the outermost ponds of the Reifel Island bird sanctuary, a small mixed flock of peeps were feeding.

Large brown waders. Dowitchers, I think.

Most of the time, their heads were underwater.

Have to come up for air occasionally.

Farther out, smaller, white-bellied peeps were feeding, pecking quickly and raising their heads to look around.

And there was one lone yellowlegs.

The water is shallow, knee-high to a yellow-legs, and the floor is covered with pale brown silt. When the birds wade, they disturb the silt and leave a visible trail.

A pair of the large ones make a meandering two-lane road. (Can't see where they're going, with their heads underwater?)

And the yellowlegs marches alone on a straight path.

Going places. No time to dawdle.

We couldn't identify these with any certainty; they were too far away to judge sizes. I think the brown birds were dowitchers; they were fat and had long, slightly down-turned beaks. The white-bellied ones were small, with shorter beaks. And the yellow-legs (whether greater or lesser, I can't tell) was twice the height of the smallest.


  1. These shots are absolutely astounding! I love the muddy trail the birds leave in the water.

    This post would be perfect for Weekend Reflections - you should sign up!!! James of Newton Area photo is the host, and it's so fun!

  2. I really like the image of the waders with their silt trails - great photo!


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