18 November 2005

A fuzzy bird

I don't consider myself a birder, although I do have a couple of bird books and I can identify some of the common birds. Nevertheless, I try not to miss a chance to photograph a bird, especially if I can't identify it.

This was one of those occasions about a month ago in Black Hill Regional Park, Montgomery Co., Maryland, when I saw this bird wading in a quite shallow part of the lake. Unfortunately, it was kind of dark, the bird was far and my camera's optical zoom magnifies only up to 3X. So, I turned on the digital zoom, but that only created more noise.

The picture on the left may give an idea of the hunting ground of the bird. In the background there is a male Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos). From the appearance of the bird, I suspected it was some kind of sandpiper. Luckily, the park office puts out a brochure listing all the bird species that have been recorded in the park (mine dates from 1996). Out of the 7 species of plovers and sandpipers listed, I am guessing that this was either a Solitary Sandpiper (Tringa solitaria) or a Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularia).

I will be getting a better camera.

1 comment:

Mikeq said...

I agree with your determination of Solitary or Spotted Sandpipers based on habitat, but can't help further than that. In my experience, the Solitary is more likely to be seen in open water and the Spotted at the mouth of a stream, but I've seen both along a lakeshore.