Totally captivated in 2007 by the live camera feed of the Hornby Island nesting Bald Eagles in B.C., I was drawn into birding and have never looked back. Thus begins my account of what I'm fortunate enough to discover each day and perhaps capture with my camera.



Unless otherwise stated, all images were taken by and are the property of Janice Melendez

Species Counts:

2014 Final Year List: 255; 2015 Year List a/o June 5, 2015: 235; Life List: 327

Monday, November 8, 2010

Rock Climbing in Cobourg for Another Lifer



This afternoon John and I popped over to the harbour in Cobourg in anticipation of seeing yesterday's reported Purple Sandpiper.

The good news: it was still there.

The better news: there were now three of them.

The bad news: they were on the far side of the breakwater, which meant crawling over massive boulders to see them. 

The good news/ bad news: just as Betsy and I were ready to take our lives in our hands and begin The Crawl, Dave Milsom informed us that they were no longer there. 

The better news: Hawkeye John had located them in his scope, but way over by the lighthouse. 

The even better news: we could drive there- hah!  

The bestest news: the required Rock Climb to the end of the pier by the lighthouse was manageable and all three birds were there.


As I precariously balanced myself between some boulders, two of the three Purple Sandpipers foraged around below us on the rocks before eventually flying off:






One of my field guides quoted a succinct description of this species by Roger Tory Peterson: "portly, slaty, yellow legs; on rocks". Yup, that about sums it up!









As for the purple??? I don't think so. Although another field guide claims that one can see a purplish sheen to some back feathers....as if. Perhaps it's time to see a cataract surgeon???








Another important field marking is the narrow white eye-ring, but especially the yellowish base of the bill:








I also saw my first Long-tailed Ducks for the season, with their hauntingly beautiful "owl-omelet" melody drifting our way, as well  as a Great Black-backed Gull.

Life was good today!


1 comment:

Alison said...

These are truly amazing birds and most attractive and interesting without being precisely beautiful. But as for R T-P's description of the YELLOW legs? I don't think so. Those are orange and no question. But then if these birds are described as purple, perhaps the one who named them was colour blind.