American AvocetOct. 21, 2007

Yesterday autumn winds blew a pair of atypical visitors to the area around State College. Actually, it was in Bald Eagle State Park, about 25 miles away; Greg Grove reported that a pair of American avocets were at the park's lake. (The previous sighting of avocets in the area was from 10 years ago.)

The same winds that brought the avocets also canceled a scheduled kayak paddle at Bald Eagle, but seeing the avocets was excellent compensation. I mean, just look at the fellow below.

American avocet

The two avocets stayed close to one another the hour or so that Nan Butkovich, Sue, and I watched them.
American avocet pair
  We stayed far enough away not to alarm the birds, but occasional walkers close to the shore panicked the pair, which would take flight but eventually loop back to the same approximate stretch of shoreline.
American avocets taking off

The following photo of an avocet landing shows something of the black and white pattern on the avocet's back.
American avocet landing

Photo note: I used a Pentax *ist D, with the SMC 1000mm reflex lens. The sun was popping out between clouds, so deep shadows alternated with bright sunlight.

My Pennsylvania bird list

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