Of miraculous anniversary sightings: the red-necked Phalarope

Yellowleg. Photo by John Tschopp

Writes our birding correspondent, John Tschopp, this week:

A year ago I was privileged to observe and photograph a rare bird for Pemberton, a Red-necked Phalarope. The date was May 19  2021. This spring I kept my eyes on that same puddle of water, on private property. One day, there it was, another Red-necked Phalarope. Modern cameras put a date to the pictures taken. What a surprise ! At home on the screen the picture had the label  May 19 2022, exactly one year later. The same location, the same day, all without GPS, amazing ! One also has to realize, this small Wader spends 10 months of the year in the middle of the worlds oceans. It comes to solid ground only to raise young on tundra. The bird only put on a two night show in Pemberton. 

At the same time last week, a very nice Yellowleg was feeding at the same wet spot.

Happy birding.                  

Two things emerge from this for me: a bird will fly half way around the world, in order to revisit a favourite puddle, during a brief global stopover. So let us not overlook the value of puddles and ephemeral water bodies in parking lots and flooded fields, as we landscape and scrape our valley into submission.

Two: passion is contagious. I’m not that interested in birds, if I’m honest. But John’s genuine enthusiasm and generosity, has brought me into the fold. So don’t be afraid of your quirky interests and sidelined passions. We are enriched by them!

Red-necked Pharalope. Photo by John Tschopp.

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