A big little bird

A little ball of feathers that sure was a fun shore bird to watch. This week, a short post about a tiny bird (one of Mrs. PC’s favourites – we have framed prints and tea towels to prove it!)

We were wandering along Terrace Beach, Ucluelet, enjoying the day, and keeping an eye out for a pair of bald eagles we’d seen earlier that week. Spotting a bald eagle is always a thrill, and if you’re out on the west coast of Vancouver Island, you’ll often see one or more most days if you’re looking. Or even if you’re not.DSCF5855

We sat down on a log – we seem to do a lot of that – to listen to the waves wash up onto the shore, and eat a small snack. We seem to do a lot of that, too. He was well camouflaged on this particular part of the shore, but we eventually spied a little Western Sandpiper – he had probably been there quite a while before we saw him. Well, once he was in our sights, what fun he was to observe.

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Sat on this one
He scurried on busy little legs just ahead of and across each set of waves, foraging for food in the sand and seaweed. Unperturbed by our presence, he worked the shoreline mere metres from where we were sitting, back and forth with admirable intent, stocking up for a lengthy flight to come. Tiny in size, but huge in heart! (I know, an overactive imagination and anthropomorphism, but I can’t help it…)

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Irresistible!
On previous days, we had most often seen these sandpipers in small flocks. I like the flash of white as they speed along the beach, making fast turns and flying in short bursts. For the time we saw this one, he appeared to be a solitary bird. Maybe it needed some down time away from the hustle and bustle of flock life? Maybe we simply missed the other birds or they arrived later? No, he was the lone ‘piper, out on a purposeful mission. There I go again…DSCF5855

We arrived searching for big birds, but left happy (a particularly happy Mrs. PC) having seen this big-hearted and beautiful little bird!

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

Published by

plaidcamper

I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

12 thoughts on “A big little bird”

  1. I loved sharing your “peep” adventure, pc, with both of you. We see some of life’s greatest beauty while sitting on a log, don’t we? Your description of the quest and results was great, because this is the reward of nature, no matter what we set out to see, there is always something beautiful or interesting, regardless of what we had intended to see. And the description of the sandpiper’s actions was beautifully written, with the busy beach walking, scurrying and foraging — and what a joy to see them unified in flight, flashing the light. Excellent post, thanks for taking us there.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Jet – much appreciated!
      The little sandpiper made our morning, an unexpected treasure we weren’t looking for. Yes, you’re so right about something beautiful to see when you’re nature-minded.
      Hard to be upbeat today, but I do hope you have a pleasant week.

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  2. These little sandpipers are endlessly fascinating as they work in solitary fashion or in groups along the beaches at this time of year. You captured the peep spirit naturally (even anthropomorphically) and the photos are just awesome!

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    1. Thanks, Walt! Easy to be fascinated and delighted by sandpipers, they are such charming characters. The little fellow we saw appeared completely unbothered by us, so I was able to zoom in and snap better than usual photographs. I was happy with that, but my ratio of clear to fuzzy is still heavily weighted towards fuzzy when it comes to photographing anything moving!
      Enjoy your week.

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  3. What a wonderful spot to enjoy a snack and the little lone ‘piper! Beautiful photos of the sandpiper along the beach and I love how you captured his personality in your words. I often find myself giving the birds and animals I encounter a little of an attitude problem, but I’m going to blame that on Gabby or the music I listen to. Have a great weekend!

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  4. Sandpipers can be found all over the world (except Antarctica) and while you were watching that cute little bird in Canada, we were watching quite a few in Portugal! It’s wonderful, too, that no matter how many times we see them, we stop and watch. Lucky you – wish we’d had that log to rest on. Thanks for the post!

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