Sunday, August 22, 2010

Red-necked Phalarope

Today was an interesting day. I didn't get out until about 1:00 and decided to visit Mount Tabor Park. It was cloudy and dark and the birds were scarce. I only spent about an hour and a half there. I did run across a tree that was loaded with Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Bushtits and a female Western Tanager, but that was about the only excitement.
After Tabor, I decided to swing by Fernhill Wetlands. Things were a little slow there too, but the sun came out brightening things up. When I got to the mud flat on the north side of the main pond, I saw what I think were a couple of Western Sandpipers. I hung out there for a while taking pictures of the Sandpipers when I noticed something different heading my way along the edge of the flat. It turned out to be a Juvenile Red-necked Phalarope.
This bird was constant motion, both its body and its beak. It kept moving along the shore in water just deep enough to keep its legs submerged. I'm not sure if it was walking or swimming. I assume walking, but it was interesting how it seemed to be in the same depth of water at all times. As it moved along it was continuously poking its beak at the waters surface, side to side, apparently trying to catch bugs on the surface.

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