I quaded down to Can Doo Quad service in Buenos Aries yesterday to have some new tires installed. “This will take an hour” I was told (I’m thinking a Mexican hour, which is whenever it’s ready) so I took my camera and went for a walk. Figured to be back in two hours and the job might be done. Headed down a side road towards the beach to see what it was like down here, really only a click or two from our casa. I’d never been here before. I was surprised to find a couple of small estuaries. Right away I see a Spotted Sandpiper (pictured above) in winter plumage. He’s zipping around this way and that, bobbing his tail while snatching up insects.
I look south a bit and see 3 or 4 little birds pecking in the sand. Frantically watching each other to see where the food is, they all race over when one pecks at the sand to see what the other guy is feeding on. I’d be plenty hungry too if I flew all the way down from Northern Alaska for the winter. My arms would be tired as well. The bird in the lead is a Western Sandpiper.
The bird joining in the feeding frenzy I’m well familiar with. It’s a Least Sandpiper, (see below). Least Sandpipers and Western Sandpipers are often seen grazing together. The way I remember to tell them apart is to remember a Least Sandpiper has the “least” (smaller) size of bill. Well, that works for me anyway! The Western’s big black bill is an eye-catcher.
The tide is going out making the estuaries look small as the water recedes. On my way back to the shop I see a large-ish white bird feeding on some little fishes. Yellow/orange bill, black legs, thats a Great White Egret. With a neck like a child’s slinky, this bird spears it’s prey showing no mercy. I’ve seen some of them work and work trying to swallow a fish that is obviously too large only to have to leave it for, oh maybe, a Great Blue Heron or Cormorant.
I return to Can Doo’s after an hour and a half to find my quad not only with new tires mounted but all washed up and ready to go. Life is good.
Debbie and I travel the world looking for birds. Sometimes all it takes is a walk around the block to find new and interesting subjects in secret habitat to photograph.
“til next time, keep your eyes open. “Happy Birding” from Chris and my darling Debbie.