|What big eyes! The Upland Sandpiper calmly watched me|
take photographs for several minutes. © SB
"What a funny looking shorebird — such a tiny head!"
By the time I saw my third Upland Sandpiper that day, however, I had become charmed by these sandpipers' calm manner — they never seemed at all alarmed that I stopped my car near them to take photographs — and especially by their big, black, attentive eyes.
The small head and large eyes are two of the Upland Sandpiper's three most identifiable body features (along with the short, straight bill), says the pamphlet from the Chaplin Nature Centre.
Upland Sandpipers arrive by mid-May at the Chaplin Lake area, where they nest in nearby pastures and wetlands, the Chaplin pamphlet says, adding that these sandpipers breed in most of southern Saskatchewan.
Beyond Borders, a booklet I picked up at the Nature Centre says these shorebirds winter in South America on the pampas of Brazil and Argentina. They prefer open grasslands, hayfields and pastures, are seldom seen in large groups, and often perch on rocks, trees, and — yes that's where my three most certainly were — on fence posts.
|The Beyond Borders booklet says Upland Sandpipers call is like |
a "wolf whistle". This bird was somewhat more generally chatty. © SB
What is this bird? Upland Sandpiper
Location: Near the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve, south of Chaplin, Saskatchewan.
Photo date: June 29, 2012.