July 28, 2005 [LINK]

Mystery sandpiper in S.D.

Mystery sandpiper

My brother John just sent me this photo of a "mystery sandpiper," which he saw on the Vermillion (South Dakota) Country Club this afternoon. As far as the sandpiper family goes, I would have a hard time telling a Godwit from a Dowitcher, but based on my field guide, I agree with his guess that it's a Buff-breasted sandpiper. If anyone can help identify it, please send an e-mail to postmaster@andrewclem.com or johndavidclem@yahoo.com.

Neighborhood warblers

My dear wife and I took a walk behind the Staunton-Augusta Rescue Squad on Tuesday morning, before the temperatures became unbearably hot, and were surprised to see an American redstart, a Black and white warbler, and a (probable) Prairie warbler. I thought at first the latter might be an Orange-crowned warbler, but they breed in the far north, and migration season for them is weeks away yet. It was plain except for pale markings around the eyes, so it was either a female or a juvenile. I heard a Prairie warbler singing in the now-off-limits section of that trail back in May, so it's possible a pair may have bred in this area. We also saw some Indigo buntings and a Great crested flycatcher.