The Spotted Sandpiper is the first summer bird I became aware of as a small child — the little bird that roamed the water’s edge. Spotties arrive at the Lake in May before school is out for the summer, and leave again as children return to class. Its time at the shore coincides with that of children. While not as spectacular as the Osprey, which maintains much the same schedule, for a child wading in the shallows, the Spotty was more fun to watch.
Mind you, I wasn’t told of the Spotty’s non-standard marital arrangements, nor do I suppose that the adults in my family were aware of them. To make up for this lacuna, this blog has featured Spotty’s antics many times.
July is the time to see the sandpiper’s chicks scouring the shores.
“Just because my wings don’t work yet, doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t flex them.”
This is the chicks’ father — or at least he thinks that he is, so he broods and protects them. (As his mate is highly promiscuous, he probably is wrong.) Here the male is flying past a couple of beach walkers in an attempt to draw them away from his non-flying charges.
Farther along the beach a juvenile Spotty (hatched a bit earlier) practices its dance routines.
For a week or so, the Spotted Sandpiper chicks rival anything around for cuteness.