Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Upland Sandpiper

After several busy days with multiple visits to the Alentejo and to Castro Marim, we were just settling down to record some details for the blog when we got a call from Nigel Jackson here in Tavira.

He had just got home after a morning's birding during which he had found what he thought to be an Upland Sandpiper. We quickly noted down his directions to a field that is only 10 minutes drive away on the edge of Tavira, grabbed binoculars, telescope and camera and were out of the door before you could say Bartramia longicauda!

When Nigel saw the bird he was on the Ecovia Algarve and it was in a weedy field just the other side of a wire fence. Of course, when we arrived there was no immediate sign of it but after a systematic search of the area lasting about half an hour, the bird was found, its identity confirmed and its photograph taken.

Upland Sandpiper is a species that we have seen on quite a number of occasions in Texas and Wyoming but this is our first on this side of the Atlantic. It would appear that there has been one previous record in Portugal, at Ludo in 1999.

Many thanks, Nigel!


Colin said...

Thanks for 'heads up' on this Peter, and for your excellent directions to the locality. Spent two hours there this morning searching not just the field south of Casa da Figueira but the fields all around the area - no luck. Nigel did well to spot this bird.

Dropped in at Salgados on my way back, met Simon, and we found the Buff-breasted Sandpiper on the north shore of the lagoon.

Nice shots of the Upland Sand. on your blog, but was hoping to "trump" you!!

Peter and June said...

Sorry you had a wasted journey. If it's any consolation, you are not the only one. We haven't been today but we did see the bird yesterday afternoon at 5.00pm but only very briefly and after quite a long wait. Nigel said the bird was close to the fence when he saw but that it walked away and quickly disappeared into the weedy vegetation. Perhaps we'll have another look in the morning. Unlike some I've seen in the USA it seems a bit skittish and my photographs taken directly into the light are no more than the proverbial record shots.