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We have another new addition to the BFS Bird List – the Spotted Sandpiper, Actitis macularia, which was spotted at pHake Lake on September 25.

A Spotted Sandpiper on the south shore of pHake Lake.

It’s perhaps a little surprising that they haven’t been spotted at the BFS before. They’re the most widespread breeding sandpiper in North America, and in this area they’re common in winter around freshwater. They do, however, prefer open shoreline, and we don’t have much of that at pHake Lake; this one was foraging along the open part of the south shore and on the cleared island.

You don’t see any spots on this Spotted Sandpiper because it’s in its winter (nonbreeding) plumage. Spotted Sandpipers are easy to identify by behavior because they “teeter”, continually wagging their tails up and down as they walk. They also have a very distinctive flight, with wings held very stiffly out and very shallow rapid wingbeats.

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