There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Wandering Tattler

Heteroscelus incanum

Medium-sized sandpiper
Short, thick, yellow legs
Solid gray upperparts
Finely streaked face
Dark eye line
White eye ring
Longish, straight, black bill
   Heavily barred underparts
   Gray breast
   White belly

Listen to its call.

After enjoying a cup of tea at the Ogden Point Cafe this afternoon, I went for a short stroll along the breakwater. Being a long weekend, the area was bustling with activity: people on the walkway, divers in the water and shorebirds at the water's edge. I was taking pictures of a group of Black Turnstones on the rocks below when my husband drew my attention to this bird.  It was bobbing along the ledge on the outside of the breakwater, moving surprisingly quickly. If it hadn't stopped at regular intervals to probe for food, I would have had to take up jogging just to keep up with it. Thankfully, I didn't have to go to those extremes to get these pictures.

Learn more about the Wandering Tattler.

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