Wednesday, December 30, 2009

So that's why they call them Purple Sandpipers

I met up with Kim The Curious Birder and Alan today to go out on a rare birding trip around Gloucester. "Steve!", you may exclaim, "your blog is full of birds. Rare birding trip? What are you talking about?"

I very rarely go out just for the pleasure of birding. Those of us that have these dual hobbies know that it is tough to photograph with birders and it is tough to bird with photographers.

As a birder, I want to be on the move, get the checks on the list, count the species and/or individuals depending on the purpose of my outing. When I'm photographing, I can sit and marvel at a Gadwall for hours.

I struck a brilliant compromise with Kim and Alan today as we went out birding. It was a blast. The cool birds of the day were King Eider and Black Guillemot and of course a SMU favorite, Purple Sandpiper. Kim and I worked with this flock of Purple Sandpipers for a while as Alan found us a Black Guillemot.

In today's light, I can show you why these are called Purple Sandpipers. My dictionary of American bird names states that they are named for the purple tones on their backs. Sure enough!

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

17 comments:

Remou said...

I find these sandpipers irresistible, especially when taken so sympathetically.

A New England Life said...

I'm glad you all met up and had a good time! The weather had to be brutal though.

Look at those poor little birds, trying their darndest to stay warm. Honestly I don't know how they survive the nights, never mind the days.

Kim said...

LOVE those Purple Sandpiper shots Steve. Such cute little birds.

It was a wonderful day and am so glad you came out to share it with us. Anytime you want to get out there just to bird, just let me know as Gloucester is now one of my favorite places to bird in the winter and maybe we can get Sharon to join us next time. ;0)

Cindy said...

Love the purple sandpipers, especially the one watching you with one eye. Looks cold though!

A New England Life said...

Not in that weather you won't, Kim! It's going to have to be at least 50 degrees for me ... and I'll still be cold! ; )

manuel nieto said...

feliz año, un saludo

NatureFootstep Birds said...

lol, I know what you talk about. I am fairly new to birding but already found out what you state.

That was nice birds you captured.

nuts said...

nice capture of birds!

The Early Birder said...

Hi Steve. Excellent compromise and another super series to end my year with the Purple Sandpiper that I saw for the first time on the 1st Jan but never captured.

Cheers and Happy New year to you and Becky. FAB.

Chris Petrak said...

Good series on the PUSA, but I still need imagination to get purple out of the color. L.ike a lot of birds, probably named when a dead bird was being held in the hand and minute observation could be done - also before there was such a thing as field identification, id-ing being done with a shotgun. Glad you were able to compromise birding & photography.

Roy said...

I often wondered why they were named "Purple" Steve, now I can see why. Brilliant light in those images as always.

Eve said...

Glad you had a great time Steve! These guys are SO cute!

CafebyJW said...

I think this is my first visit, beautiful capture.

Happy New Year.

You Got A Posty
All Little Things I Like

Craig Glenn said...

Very nice photos Steve (as always). so glad you got to spend time with another birder/blogger. I have yet had the opportunity but can't wait.

Craig

Mary said...

Aw, they are such sweet little birds! And your sunrise photos are sooo beautiful! Wishing you and yours a very happy New Year. :)

Jenny said...

That Purple Sand sort of asleep against the rock is a stunner! Have a great birding/photographing New Year Steve!

Mojo said...

That still doesn't explain the "Purple Martin" native to this area which - as far as I can tell -- is yellow.

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