Buffed for the Season

by Lanny McDowell on August 29, 2010


Scanning the plowed fields at the Farm Institute in Katama has been de rigeur for the past couple of weeks, anyway, for the regulars, and also for the more sought-after Upland Sandpiper and Buff-breasteds.  Neither of each until yesterday, when Rob Culbert, pro ecologist and local birding guide, emailed some of the local birders that on his Saturday morning field trip rounds he had espied up to five buffies bobbing and poking their way around the field.

I forwarded the email and made a couple of heads-up calls.  Warren went out mid-afternoon and saw three, fairly close to the road and typically working the field edges.  Pete was going to some annual road association meeting, so he had to reign in.  No feedback from others.  I waited as long as I could stand, figuring cooler air and later light would favor the photo op.  I found the three with little delay.  I parked and meandered out to get up-light of the target sandpipers.  Since buffies can be rather active and sometimes skittish when approached, the best bet is to assess their general direction trend and place myself in the way.  A couple times they seemed to fly when their proximity discomfort level ( PDL, a new less-than-technical term of mine) was reached; although, the last time they flew, their trajectory was within feet of my legs and about eighteen inches off the ground, so I guess it really wasn’t about me after all.








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

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And birds are still cool!  Lan


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