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.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Short-billed Dowitcher

Limnodromus grieseus

  • Medium-sized shorebird
  • Long, straight bill
  • Long, greenish legs
  • Short neck
  • Dark crown and eyeline
  • White and black bars of equal width on tail feathers
  • Breeding plumage:
  •     Mottled brown upperparts
  •     Pale orange underparts
  •     Spotting on sides
  •     White belly
  • Overall grey in winter
Listen to its call.
White and black bars of equal width on tail feathers
By late summer, most of the water has dried up at Panama Flats. Only a few large puddles remain where shorebirds congregate ... when the gaggles of Canada Geese allow it. Seeing a number of different sized shorebirds towards the centre of the flats, I moved in for a closer look, attempting to make my way through the squishing mud without any creeping up my sandals. It was disgusting! The mucky, (and I'm sure) excrement-covered shoes are still sitting outside our front door, too foul to be allowed in the house. The things I do just to get a picture! 

Learn more about the Short-billed Dowitcher.

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