3/29/16 – Early Uppy!

~UPLAND SANDPIPER in the Black Dirt Region, 2/39/16.~ 

I was cruising through the Black Dirt Region this afternoon, really just sort of doing some half-hearted birding but mostly hoping for Lapland Longspurs, when I heard an Eastern Meadowlark call. I stopped the car and located one and then another meadowlark… only the second bird was not a meadowlark but an UPLAND SANDPIPER! I put the word out and I was eventually joined by Karen Miller, Maria Loukeris, Linda Scrima, and Bruce Nott, who all got good scope views of the bird. Meanwhile, the more I watched the bird, the less sure I was becoming of my initial ID, mostly because the bird was bobbing its tail often, a behavior that I didn’t know Upland Sandpipers exhibited. I spoke with Rob Stone and he found a video online showing bobbing behavior. When Karen got home, she referenced her National Geographic Complete Birds of North America, which read: “It often bobs the rear portion of its body…”.  I’ve included a video of the bird at the bottom of this post. According to eBird bar charts, we are not likely  to see UPSAs in Orange County until May, so this is really an early bird.

~One more shot of the UPSA, Black Dirt Region 3/29/16.~
~One more shot of the UPSA, Black Dirt Region 3/29/16.~

8 thoughts on “3/29/16 – Early Uppy!”

  1. Nice find Matt! This is what I love about birding! I never knew about the bobbing behavior. You can learn something new every time you’re out in the field!

    1. Thanks Scotty. I obviously never knew about the bobbing behavior either and it was making me crazy, second-guessing my ID! Fun night though, and a great bird to see. Matt

  2. Great find Matt.

    It is nice that everyone shares what they see and contribute educational information for all of us.


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