Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sanderlings on the shore of Lake Erie at the Midwest Birding Symposium

I am having fun and am loving it at the Midwest Birding Symposium!
...yesterday morning the two Robs--Rob Ripma (The Nutty Birder) and Rob Mortensen (Birding is Fun), Cack (Rob's mom), Lulu (Rob's friend), and Corky (a college professor I had back in 1980) convinced me to get up at 5:00 a.m. and head over to Magee Marsh with them to catch a few warblers. Yikes! This is what good birders do, but when it comes to daybreak, I'm a bad birder. 6:15 is about the earliest I can get up. All my family and friends know this--I'm a night owl and have been my entire life. When I started first grade, my mom had to give me a cup of coffee to get me out of bed and help me function. But........I can and will do anything for birds, so up I got...and for good measure I set my alarm for 4:55. It was a restless night for me. From 1:00 a.m. (when I went to bed) to 4:55 a.m. when I got up, I dreamt about having to bird in my P.J.s because I couldn't find any regular clothes. My P.J.s have ducks all over them, so I really shouldn't have worried. It would have been just fine to bird in them... :-)

We arrived at Magee early, and I'm totally sold on the merits of a 5:00 a.m. wake-up call. We saw lots of warblers, thrushes, and other birds. Before we left Magee to go back to the symposium, we walked over to Lake Erie to see what was there. Sweet little Sanderlings were foraging on the shore...

Sanderling (Calidris alba) in winter (basic) plumage.
I fell in love with the plumage on these sweet birds...pattern and color are breathtaking, and when you add in their wave-chasing antics, mesmerizing!

...a Sanderling foraging along the shore of Lake Erie at Magee Marsh.

...beautiful profile, beautiful colors, beautiful pattern...

Hey little fellow...I dig your feathers!

Video of Sanderlings in basic winter plumage preening along the Lake Erie shore at Magee Marsh.

p.s....I am going into training. I have two years to reset my clock. By the next symposium, 5:00 a.m. will be nothing!


TexWisGirl said...

they are cute! and these photos were worth getting up at 4:55 for! :)

Out on the prairie said...

What a gorgeosus bird. It was fun to watch them in your video.

holdingmoments said...

Fantastic shots Kelly.
Great video too. I love how they crowd at the shoreline, dodging those waves.

Jain said...

Handsome bird!

Could you please answer the age-old question: is it MAG-ee Marsh or m'GEE Marsh?

I used to be a night owl and now I can't sleep past 5:00 a.m. when I try. If your training doesn't work out, you can always look forward to old age waking you up!

Elaine said...

These are such sweet little birds. Loved your video!

Juan Pablo Prieto said...

Hollow Kelli, sorry but my english is very bad, i like your blog it is very interesting, photos, paints... very good, thanks for your expositions (from Spain)

Unknown said...

Awesome photos! Glad I was there with you to see you take them. Thanks for being there for my 400th life bird too!

Roy said...

Sanderling - Definitely my favourite wader Kelly, always a pleasure to see them.
You in your P.J's ?? What can I say. {:)

Kelly said...

...thanks, Tex! :-) Yes....definitely worth 4:55...

Steve...thank you! I was glad they drifted closer in so I could get the video of them.

Keith...thanks...they are so much fun to watch. Relaxing to watch too...even though they are spazzes.

Jain...I think it is ma-GEE. That's the way I say it, and I've heard everyone else say it like that too. One person said MAGee, though. I'm going with ma-GEE.

Elaine...thank you!! :-)

Juan...thank you very much! Welcome to the blog...your English is fantastic! was awesome when bird #400 flew into view....congratulations!!!

Roy...thank you! I love them too and could watch them for hours!!

lwsexson said...

Thanks for the mention. I can see the advantage of getting down on the ground like you did but my pictures have value too.

Marco Luijken said...

Hello Kelly,
Wonderful images of these special bird. You've caught them on a great low position. Very nice to see. I like this!!
Well done!!

Greetings, Marco

Caroline said...

What fabulous feathers! The markings just make me want to paint, paint, paint!

Carol Mattingly said...

I feel your pain Kelly. I follow your blog all the time but don't often comment because I have to go to google chrome as regular google won't let my windows 7 post comments and that's the harsh reality of my new laptop. But I wanted to get on chrome and tell you I'm here all the time looking, reading, marveling and what you do and love it all. Perhaps we can team up sometime as we only live a hour or so apart. HAVE FUN UP THERE IN BIRDER LAND!!!! Carol

Hilke Breder said...

I love your Sanderling shots, Kelly! Spectacular feather detail and color! Sounds like you had a great time and met some wonderful people at the Birding Symposium. I am a little bit envious.

Lois Evensen said...

Yes, they are beautiful. The color patterns of those feathers are wonderful. I look at those and wonder how I could copy them to make knit or crochet lace. So pretty.

Dave said...

Great shots Kelly...and behind shots as well!
I'm sorry I never got to meet up with time!

Montanagirl said...

They truly are sweet little birds. Loved the video!

Adrienne Zwart said...

So envious that you are at the symposium, but delighted for you that you are enjoying it so much. One of these days I will get there. I just visited Magee last month for the first time. It was late morning/early afternoon, so not exactly great for birding, but it did make me want to go back!

Janice K said...

They are really cute. Love the close-ups.

Banjo52 said...

I love photo 3. It's very centered, and I know some photography experts advise against that; but to me your fantastically focused bird in the center of the blur of shore is just right. The video with sound is great too.

Magee is a great place. I've always stayed at the lodge in Maumee Bay State Park. Should I try your town instead?

Guy said...

Hi Kelly

The shots of the Sanderlings are great, I really like the feather detail.


Kelly said...

Lulu....I loved your photo of the sanderlings. Sometimes I think I get down on the ground to photograph because it's an easy way to rest!! :-)

thanks, Marco!!

Caroline...I know what you mean....these have paintings written all over them!

Carol...thank you! I often don't have time to comment on all my blog friends posts either. Time is so short sometimes.....if not always! :-)

Hilke, it was wonderful. Can't wait until the next one!

Lois...if you have to let me know. It would be a really cool design.

Dave....I know. I almost made it to Meadowbrook, but my foot gave out and I had to ice it instead... This coming spring...I'm there!!!

....thanks, Mona!

Adrienne...put is on your list. You will love it there. Thank you!

...thanks, Janice!

Banjo...I break the rules a lot...when I'm showcasing feathers, I sometimes just center or just put the bird slightly off center (using the eye in the left or right third of the page). Composition and feather observations don't always go hand in hand, but I liked the feel of that shot too! Thanks.... I'm going to do a post on Hotel can decide. It's about 35-40 minutes from Magee, so that might be a hinderance.

...thanks, Guy!! :-)

Chris said...

Wow gorgeous shot of the sanderlings Kelly. I love them... They are almost gone from here now ;-)

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy these shots!