Friday, July 31, 2015

Upland Sandpiper with juvenile Sandpipers at Grasslands

What an amazing sight to see a flock of young Upland Sandpipers on one side of our dusty ranch road near the West Block of Grasslands National Park (or through it? tough to keep track of current boundaries)... And on the other, an adult Upland Sandpiper scolding the babies off the road.

Upland Sandpiper, near (or in?) the West Block of Grasslands National Park, SK  © SB
Juvenile Upland Sandpiper, following directions and walking away from the road. © SB

And yes, the Upland Sandpiper seems an unlikely bird to find in Saskatchewan's grasslands, until you realize that (as All About Birds says), it's "a shorebird of grasses, not shores."

This long-flying, big-eyed bird, a relative of the curlews, migrates from Prairie grasslands and pastures in summer, to the South American pampas in the winter, and back.

Here's a closer look at an Upland Sandpiper, from a drive I took a few years ago, near the Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve, Chaplin, SK.

I don't think of sandpipers as Fence Post Birds, but that's what this Upland Sandpiper is! © SB

What are these birds? Upland Sandpipers 
Location:  In or near Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan, and near the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve, south of Chaplin, Saskatchewan.
Photo date:  June 22, 2015, and June 29, 2012.


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