Saturday, 27 June 2015

Spotted Sandpiper (Chevalier grivelé)

     Yesterday Miriam and I had a chance to get out and do a little birding together on a pleasant sunny day. As might be expected many species are now feeding young, some have already fledged, and certain species are involved with second broods.
     We were very happy to see a Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia with young. This species is the New World equivalent of the Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos of Europe and Asia, but the species on this side of the Atlantic is polyandrous, and it is the male who incubates the eggs and raises the young.
     He was doing a great job and became quite agitated when we, or a Canada Goose Branta canadensis for that matter, got anywhere close to the young. 

     We were unable to photograph the young birds as they stayed mainly in clumps of thick vegetation, becoming visible for only the briefest of intervals. The adult, however, was very obliging and we were able to get several pictures.

     Just as we were about to leave the area this fine Widow Skimmer Libellula luctuosa landed right in front of us.

     Numerous patches of Oxeye Daisy Chrysanthemum leucanthemum were especially beautiful and seemed to attract many Cabbage White sp. butterflies, but none perched long enough to pose for a picture. The flowers were reward enough, however.

     Moving on to LaSalle Park we were again treated to a close encounter with a Spotted Sandpiper. We saw a huge dead fish at the water's edge and it provided a convenient platform for the Spotted Sandpiper, and doubtless food too.

     We did not see any young birds at this location but the great views of the adult provided ample satisfaction.

     Elde Trees Sambucus sp. are now in full bloom and I think we need to pick some flowers soon for our annual maple syrup treat.

     Numerous Mallards Anas platyrynchos were seen with babies and these two seemed quite happy to relax in the sun.

     Their mother and siblings were not far away.

     Eastern Chipmunk Tamias striatus is a great favourite with people, especially children, and many leave little piles of sunflower seeds for them to eat. This individual seems to have already filled his cheek pouches and will no doubt be back for more when he has added what he already has to his storage chamber.

     A great deal of my time recently has been devoted to the Peregrine Falcons Falco peregrinus and I am truly happy to have played a part in their success, but it was really enjoyable to get out again with Miriam and enjoy some of the other delights that are all around us. 


  1. I love to watch your pictures :) Yours

  2. Great pictures! It was a beautiful day to be out!

  3. Wonderful series of images, David! I love the Sandpiper, beautiful bird. Happy weekend!

  4. Beautiful series of Sandpiper, pity the kids didn't want to pose. The ducklings were good replacements. Very nice. The Widow Skimmer and the dead fish are, like the Chipmunk, beautiful closeups. For picking the flowers, you need a telescope ladder instead of a tripod, David. I wish you and your wife a nice weekend. Gr Jan W

  5. It's amazing how your Spotted Sandpiper is so confiding but our equivalent and closely related Common Sandpiper is so loathe to have its picture taken (or at least in the UK). In other places I visit in Europe, mainly Spain or its islands, the Common Sandpiper can be quite tame. A mystery that requires deeper analysis than I can provide at this moment in time.

    Looks like I will have to spend some time in Spain and elsewhere in order to solve the puzzle.

    Enjoy your trip coming down English country lanes but beware of farmers who dislike birdwatchers' vehicles spread across their gates.

  6. I concur with Phil about Common Sandpiper (also found in Japan and just as skittish).

    Never even seen Spotteds in summer plumage, I saw one vagrant in the UK in autumn many years ago and lots of them in winter in Venezuela when they seemed to be the commonest bird on my trip upriver into the jungle...............

  7. Niestety nie ma w swojej okolicy ptaków brodzących a to bardzo ciekawe ptaki. Pozostaje mi oglądać zdjęcia :-)
    Kiedyś muszę się wybrać w jakieś miejsce gdzie można je łatwo spotkać. Świetne zdjęcia David :-)


  8. The Spotted Sandpiper is awesome, love it.

  9. Hello David,
    Beautiful series of images, I love all the pictures.
    Have a good new week.
    Best regards, Irma

  10. Hello David, Such a delicate bird this Spotted Sandpiper, you captured it very well. Hope he has a good meal on the fish, must smel awful though. That Chipmunk is so funny stuffing itself.
    Take care,

  11. Great to see the Spotted Sandpipers, David. I did actually once see one over here in summer plumage. It was at Rutland Water in 2011, and your images brought back memories of that excitement!

    I can't agree with comments about Common Sand being skittish. I can virtually guarantee you close-up encounters with them when we visit Scotland. I've even had one land on the bonnet (hood) of our car and look in at me through the windscreen!

    That Widow Skimmer is truly beautiful!

    The excitement is mounting! Best wishes to you both - - - - Richard

  12. Hi David,
    marvelous photos of this wonderful bird and the little gooses. So beautiful !
    Best regards, Synnöve

  13. Excellent pictures, Actitis macularia visit the shores near I live, but without the spots on its feathrs, I see then only two times, always from several meters of distance, not good to take some close-up pictures like you.