I’m camping in Idaho but I can’t resist heading to Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in Montana when I am this close so yesterday morning that is what I did. I always like to check out the dam at the Lower Lake campground and I am very glad I did because there were plenty of birds in the alkali ponds near the dam and some of them even hung around to be photographed.
When I spotted a chick coming out from behind some vegetation I started photographing it immediately without even being sure what species it was because I knew the chick might have disappeared right away so I just locked onto it and fired away. I wanted some documentation images. Once I figured out that it wasn’t going to disappear immediately then I started looking at it more carefully and noticed the scalloped feathers on its back and it began to dawn on me what species the chick belonged to.
I was photographing a Wilson’s Phalarope chick and it was in fact the youngest phalarope chick I had ever seen!
Now I must also admit I had some feathered help with the ID in the form of the adult Wilson’s Phalaropes that were nearby and the fact that a male Wilson’s Phalarope was staying fairly close to the chick. Female Wilson’s Phalaropes leave the males to do the incubation, brooding and rearing so seeing a male near the chick made a lot of sense to me as far as the ID goes.
Now, if I am incorrect I would appreciate knowing. Please tell me! The ID of chicks can be tricky.
I could have danced down the road after the chick finally disappeared into the vegetation I was so happy!
Life is good.