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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Buffy Run

While some folks are launched from their couch by the news of a closeout sale at Target, I was ripped from my laptop after my most recent post by an email letting me know that a few Buff-breasted Sandpipers were at Green Lane just 25 minutes from my house. The sun was going down, but I hopped in the car and zipped over there, arriving just as the sun was dipping down into the trees to the West. In the gathering darkness I was able to see one American Golden Plover with the dozens of Killdeer, a couple dozen Least Sandpipers, a handful of Semipalmated Sandpipers, and a couple Pectoral Sandpipers. Finally, barely discernible in my 20x scope was one Buff-breasted Sandpiper. I've loved these guys since I saw my first vagrant juvenile on the Oregon coast back in the 1980s. In Texas they were uncommon but regular migrants at Hornsby Bend and stock ponds east of Austin. But this is the first one I've seen in Pennsylvania. It was running back and forth in the drier and sparse grassy section of a mudflat. Dainty and dovelike, a palomino-maned visitor from another world. It was a nice reunion with an old friend.

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