We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
When I was a kid, we referred to the Upland Sandpiper as a "snipe." They used to be officially named "Upland Plover." It's been a long time since I have seen an Upland Sandpiper in New England. (They are listed as threatened in the Eastern US). They were more plentiful in the past, when Yankeeland was covered with pastures and hayfields.
As with the Bobolink and the Meadowlark, reforestation and suburbanization have taken their toll on these fine meadow dwellers in the northeastern US. The Upland Sandpiper also had to deal with heavy market hunting (as a substitute for the hunted-to-extinction Passenger Pigeon).
The Upland, like our Wilson's Snipe, Woodcock, and Europe's Jacksnipe are all members of the shorebird family Scolopacidae who abandoned the coasts and found a home in the uplands. These birds are still hunted, much as all shorebirds were in the past. However, they are difficult to find these days.
Our Upland Sandpipers winter on the Argentinian pampas. You can read more about the Upland Sandpiper here.
Here's a male Bobolink in breeding plumage, aka Ricebird. They do breed in one of our largest pastures. I still remember the first one I heard calling.
We do a lot of snipe hunting down here in Florida; It messes up the dogs though - as they (Snipe) don't hold. I'll hit the snipe holes early then we'll spend the day after quail. Hitting the same Snipe holes again that evening. Long days when your winters are 75 degree days. Everybody comes home hot and tired. I had my son do a school report on the Snipe as his teacher didn't believe he was actually snipe hunting. Her tune changed when he brought her a bag full of wings and pictures of the dogs with the catch...
The Pacific Golden Plovers are decked out in their handsome mating plumage and will be leaving in force on their annual migration to Alaska over the next few days, suddenly and overnight, if most of them haven't left already. It is a sad occasion when they leave and I worry about them until they return in August. The first sighting to mark their return is always a cause for celebration. Remarkably, these spindly-legged birds fly non-stop for two days to and from Alaska, traveling 2500 miles over the ocean, and yet they do not know how to swim or to glide in flight.