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Drama on the High Seas

Snidely Whiplash

Or the tranquil river, as the case may be.

We had fifteen minutes to burn before picking up Becky at work, so we went down to the Schoharie Crossing SHS boat launch to look around. I walked off by myself a ways and saw a thing sleeping on the riverbank.

It was about the size of a Mallard, but it just....wasn't.....

If I didn't know better I'd have sworn that it was a Brant. 

Nell...AKA Branta bernicla

While not exactly rare, spotting a Brant is only a sometimes experience. I took a lot of pictures of the bankside lump and looked around some more....ooh, two Sandpipers. I thought they were Greater Yellowlegs, although they were far away and didn't look or act quite right. (I was delighted later to discover that I was wrong.)


I snapped pics of them and went back to the boss. Fifteen Minutes and all you know.

Suddenly from the east came a Bald Eagle sailing low over the trees.

He spotted the lump.

Snidely attempting to invite Sweet Nell to dinner...his dinner....

And wham, down he came. Up went the sandpipers, but the Brant just swam, right up in front of us.

It was something to see. The eagle strafed the water, the little goose dove and dodged. The sandpipers were long gone.

Eventually the eagle gave up and sailed away. The goose just kept on swimming.

Even the boss was excited and told some fellows who stopped at the next picnic table for lunch all about it.

And the second best part of it....the sandpipers turned out to be Pectorals, lifers for me and new for my county list. 

What a great 18 minutes...yeah, we stayed a little longer than we planned. Becky didn't mind a bit.

Curses, foiled again!

This post first appeared on Northview Diary, please read the originial post: here

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Drama on the High Seas


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