Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Least Sandpipers along the Great Miami River...

Great Miami River? Me? I'm all about the Little Miami, but over the past week, I've jumped rivers and have canoed and hiked the Great Miami near North Bend, Ohio with Paul Krusling trying to find and photograph the ten species of turtles that live there. Paul is an expert herpetologist who has been studying and researching reptiles and amphibians for most of his life. Currently he is one of three authors writing a comprehensive book on the turtles of Ohio. How on earth did I (who knows nothing about turtles) cross paths with Paul (who knows everything)? He's a birder too, and I met him while I was birding on Pinckney Island in South Carolina. Funny how I had to travel 12 hours to meet a Cincy birder. I will have more posts on Paul and the turtles soon, but for now, here is a quick look at a few Least Sandpipers foraging in the mudflats along the Great Miami River.

A Least Sandpiper forages in mudflats along a holding lake off the Great Miami River in the Oxbow region.

...although the tiniest of all the peeps, the Least Sandpiper is chunky with a wide little belly!

...in addition to being the smallest shorebird, Least Sandpipers are the only peeps with yellowish-green legs.

...here he is in a characteristic posture where he is dipping forward with a sharp bend in his legs.

...a lone Least Sandpiper forages on a floating algae mat.

…it’s amazing how the glimmer of a small flock of tiny birds across the water can make your heart jump. I don't get to see these tiny birds very often, so I was really excited when they came into view. I mostly bird the Little Miami River, which lacks the mudflats the Least Sandpipers love. I really enjoyed canoeing the Great Miami River. We went all the way to Indiana, and I saw much of the Oxbow region. I can already tell I will be returning to this area a lot. Photographing birds from a canoe is fun--a lot different from the stability of land, and even though these photos aren't that great, I would never have gotten this close sneaking up through the woods!

16 comments:

Lois Evensen said...

What a fun outing. I am learning so much about my own home town by reading your blog. I had no clue we have Sandpipers here.

texwisgirl said...

they're just cute and happy looking little birds. :)

Betsy from Tennessee said...

No matter which river or area you go to, Kelly, you always find some neat little birds for us... Love seeing the Least Sandpipers... SO CUTE.
Hugs,
Betsy

Roy said...

I'm so used to seeing Sandpipers along salt water shores for all those years that I forget that they hang out in fresh water, too. Nice shots!

Montanagirl said...

You do get to see and do the most amazing things! Those little Sandpipers are pretty cute.

Debbie said...

my heart always skips a beat when you update....hiking, canoeing, what amazing adventures!!!

these are just so cute, i think the photo's are wonderful!!!!

Elaine said...

What a great day you must have had! I love your sandpiper shots, and I'm looking forward to seeing the turtles.

forestal said...

wonderful close-ups of them. I love them too.

dan

Hilke Breder said...

Beautiful images of a small bird, Kelly. Great close-ups make them look BIG.

grammie g said...

HI Kelly...I am jealous I wanted to get a small canoe or kayak this summer but haven't seen a good deal yet!!
So much fun,bet you enjoyed this...Sandpipers I love there ways and the one of the bottoms up made me laugh!!

Carol Mattingly said...

Kelly I love these images. Sandpipers of any kind, I'll take them. I especially love the photo of the but side. It's cute. Carol

Warren Baker said...

Aren't that great Kelly!!! They are superb :-)

Banjo52 said...

That last shot with the unfocused speckled water is fantastic. In bird and other nature photography, I've been noticing more and more how much I enjoy the backdrops, often out of focus, almost as much as the target itself.

I too had no idea these guys came inland, and I was not aware of a category called "peeps." This is becoming the RedPeanut Encyclopedia for me! Thanks once again.

KAT said...

these are wonderful photos. You are a great source for learning more about my love of birds and bird watching. Thanks so much for the photos ...love them all
KAT

Kelly said...

...thanks, everyone for the kind words. It's always amazing when i see shorebirds here. I too think about them being near the ocean. Not many hang out in my neck of the woods, though, and I have to travel west or north to see them. I think I'll try to head out to the west side of Cincinnati more often to see these sweet birds!

Mr. K said...

Hi Kelly. These pictures are awesome! Your blog has quickly become my favorite. You are a not only a great wildlife photographer, you are also a gifted writer with the heart of a great teacher.