Bird #210 — Upland Sandpiper

bartramia (given by Alexander Wilson for his friend William Bartram, and early American naturalist) longicauda (from longus, long, and caudum, tail)

Monday, June 8, 1981 — 11:00 am

Illinois Beach State Park, Illinois

Like the Piping Plover and the Grasshopper Sparrow, my other two lifers of the day, this Upland Sandpiper was mentioned on the Audubon hot line.  It was in the prairie at the extreme southern end of the park.  I heard it before I saw it, a rolling, hollow-sounding series of eerie notes.  I spotted it just after it landed on a branch of a dead tree approximately 15 feet above the ground.  It stood with its wings raised for a few seconds.  It then stood on the branch, occasionally tipping forward as if it were about to take off.

I looked at a nearby Grasshopper Sparrow, and when I looked back, the sandpiper had flown to the top of a metal fence post on the south border of the park.  Again it held its wings above its back for a few seconds after landing.

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