Spotted Sandpipers – Our Shorebird

This past weekend as part of the IAS Big May Day I saw several shorebirds – LESSER AND GREATER YELLOWLEGS, SOLITARY SANDPIPERS, and WILSON’S SNIPE. Plus a couple of plovers -KILLDEER and SEMIPALMATED PLOVER. I also saw several SPOTTED SANDPIPERS.

One of the Spotted Sandpipers was by a small pond at Atterbury FWA. When I got close it did its “peet weet” call while flying to the far shore.

A Spotted Sandpiper showing off its spots. Franklin HS 5/14/16

And it got me thinking my favorite part of the birding year is coming up. If you have follower this blog you know I love the slow summer months.

Others may look forward to the rush of migration, but I look forward to the slow summer, and winter months for that fact, when you can enjoy our birds. During migration I seem rushed to get a glimpse of a migrant which might only be around for a few weeks.

After the rush of migration you can take your time and enjoy the birds. Take notes. Watch birds in their habitat.

One of several birds which exemplifies that feeling are Spotted Sandpipers – our only real non-migrating shorebird. The Killdeer is a plover and the BLACK-NECKED STILT, for the lucky ones that have them on territory, is, well a stilt.

As seen on this range map from Birdlife via xeno-canto, the Spotted Sandpipers summer range starts just south of here.

There is nothing better on a warm, humid, summer morning than to hear the “peet” break the silence and watch the little sandpiper fly across the pond. Then observe it “working” the far shore looking for food and watch it decide to fly elsewhere “peet weeting” the whole way.

Spotted Sandpipers
A Spotted Sandpiper flying away after it flushed from a hidden spot on the rocky edge of the pond. Atterbury FWA 45/14/16


To me that is the best part of birding.

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