Birding Martha’s Vineyard, A Winter Staple: Purple Sandpipers

by Lanny McDowell on February 23, 2010

Lan 020208 014c sq blk cln120x122

There are some simple reasons I can’t stay away from watching and photographing purples this time of year.  Firstly, they are here on the Vineyard and fairly uncommon most other places.  I know where to find them when I want to, usually up scouring the rocks at Squibnocket, because they are location loyal.  That’s about the habitat, which is the habitat that shows up in the bird photos below.  They are not always there, but they are likely to be there on a bright winter’s day.

The other factor that brings me back to find them is that they are relatively tame when feeding or resting, even with Stella at my side.  Stella is very respectful and patient when it’s clear that I am trying to move slowly or I’m waiting for the sandpipers to approach me as they move among the rocks.

There were only a few yesterday.  So few that I was keeping track of them.  If you spook one, the others nearby are likely to jump as well.  So I was being careful, moving slowly, placing each step among the stones underfoot.  I was moving the camera back and forth between three of them, all quite close.  When I was done and Stella and I maneuvered back out of the rocks to the sand beach, still moving slowly so as not to upset the pipers, we put up two more that were nearer than the ones I photographed.  They must have been resting, not moving, in the stones.  Pretty amazing.  And I am not bad at spotting them either, picking out their shapes.  So that makes five all together.

Squib022210 254c1 sm

Squib022210 355c

Squib022210 319c sm

Squib022210 314cbpg

Squib022210 237c

Squib022210 172c sm

Squib022210 182c

Squib022210 102c sm

Squib022210 256c

Squib022210 072c2

Squib022210 071c

Squib022210 235c

Birds are cool!  Lanny

These images and Avian Art fine art prints are available for purchase. Contact me or View my gallery.

I have a list of folks who get an emailed notice from me with a URL to click on when I have posted a new blog.  There are also times when I just send out photos to the list without bothering to blog about them or post them to a listserve.  Not on the list?  Want to be? Just contact me  saying you want to be on the list or, better yet,  subscribe to Feedburner above, in the right side column for automatic blog feeds to your email.  Getting off the list is just as simple.


No related posts.

Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.

{ 1 comment }

1

Soo 02.25.10 at 3:57 pm

It will be interesting to see when they finally leave to head to the tundra to nest.

Comments on this entry are closed.