While Debbie is off somewhere being hunted down by a mountain lion (fish get bigger as the story goes on) at the lagoons, I was focused on the task at hand. Which was, as I remember, trying to get better photos of the flock of Western Meadowlarks we saw a few days ago.
As I’m trudging along through the swamp I see something that makes me take pause. Wow, what a sight! A pair of Long-billed Dowitchers cruising the shallows in search of prey. While I snap a few shots I’m amazed to think that this 12″, snipe-like shore bird migrates here from extreme western Alaska where they breed.
As I bravely march on something else catches my eye. Little bitty shore bird poking around the water’s edge. This is a Semipalmated Plover. Semipalmated meaning it has partially webbed feet. It’s call sounds like tu-wee….tu-wee. These birds constantly run..stop, run…stop, run-stop. They breed in the very far north parts of America.
Back to todays task. I see-um. The flock of Meadowlarks dead ahead. They just landed. Okay, sun is on the wrong side. I skirt around like an indian on Daniel Boone. Hunched down so as not to be noticed I try to keep a bush in-between these elusive birds and myself. Sneaking a little closer, camera coming up, focus and flush, they’re gone. I thought I heard voices? Oh heck. I watch as they land about two hundred feet away. Undeterred, the stalk starts all over. Same thing, keep the bushes between us, hunker down, pain in my back. I don’t want to settle for a so-so shot so I ease up a little closer. Just a little closer. Up comes the camera, this time I know I hear little voices. heheheheheeeee These Medowlarks are snickering at me! They are laughing at my efforts to photograph them. Flush and gone again. 200 feet away again. Errr….. Enough is enough. I straighten up and just plod across the gook and mud and the cow poop straight at them. I could see their leader pale as I approached . They all froze in fear just long enough to let me have a (somewhat distant) shot. This is what I got. Mess with me by golly!
The Western Meadowlark is common in North American. They inhabit open fields and are often seen from the road on fence posts and flying from place to place as they forage for insects and some seeds. They have a flute-like melody that makes us stop and listen for as long as they will sing for us.