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An open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond

About that beautiful Sharp-tail photo in Wednesday's StarTrib

My column yesterday (Wednesday) in the Home and Garden section of our newspaper focused on a rare bird seen in Carver County. We included a wonderful photo of the bird in question, the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper that so many birders saw late last week. The photo was taken by Roy Zimmerman of Maplewood. The credit line we used was in error, and we're sorry about that. Any photographer who gets such a fine photo of such an elusive bird deserves proper recognition. How did it happen? That involves Facebook, people sharing photos, and confusion between my source and me. Mr. Zimmerman, by the way, used a Canon camera with a 100-400mm Canon lens. I was pleased to have a chance to use the photo. It is a beautiful, close, detailed shot in great light.

Rare bird getting attention in Carver County

A bird that breeds in Siberia and spends the off-season in Australia is being seen in Carver County, at least as of Saturday afternoon, Sept. 24. It's a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, sometimes seen in Alaska and less often found along the West Coast. This individual is way out of range. 

Birders eager to see this visitor, and perhaps add it to their life lists, have been gathering on a roadside overlooking a large rain puddle in an ag field, for several days. The sandpiper moves around this almost-pond-size puddle, and it not always easy to see. It likes weedy edges. Patience counts, though. Plus, there are other sandpiper species there along with various duck species and Trumpeter Swans.

The location is west of the town of Mayer. Minnesota Highway 7 takes you Minnesota Highway 25. Go south on 25 for 2+ miles, then west on County Road 32 for one mile. There most likely will be a cluster of observers marking the site. Continue west one-quarter mile and park along Tacoma Avenue. County 32 is too narrow for safe parking, and viewers should be aware of traffic on that road.

Do not park in or near private driveways or on private property.

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