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Monday, September 13, 2010

Stilted Birding

This morning I went out for some stilted birding. The standard definition of stilted is "stiffly or artificially formal; stiff." Well, that doesn't describe my morning at all. I heard there was a good shorebird movement over at Pine Run--where I had been on Friday but hadn't seen too much. So I headed back over there and ran into local bird photographer Howard Eskin. I'm always happy to run into Howard, especially since he survived a scary incident on the jetty at Barnegat. We're lucky to still have him around.

Anyway, I spent a fun morning chasing shorebirds around the edge of Pine Run with Howard as he snapped away with his giganormous telephoto lens and I scanned the roving flocks for a Baird's Sandpiper that was reportedly limping around the lake with a stick and fishing line wrapped around one of its legs.

We eventually did see the Baird's when a flock of Least Sandpipers and Semipalmated Sandpipers flew by, that's when it was easiest to see the bigger bird in their midst. But we spent most of the time chasing around a small group of five Stilted Sandpipers (hence the "stilted" birding). I don't get to see too many of these birds here in Bucks County, so it was fun to have them feeding in the water almost at our feet. Here are some of Howard's shots. I tried to do some digiscoping with my HTC Incredible phone, but had a tough time of it.

Anyway, great to spend an hour at the shorebird flats on a Monday morning. Man I love shorebirds!

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