I have been hearing and seeing Upland Sandpipers for the last 6 days at Bradford Farm in Columbia.  There is a lot of suitable habitat and I've seen them during all times of day, but mostly in the morning and along the recently mowed areas surrounding the research fields, and around the retreating west pond.  One morning last week I had one circle the field I was in for 5 - 10 minutes, landing then flying off loudly calling that "...weird, unearthly, bubbling whistle...", trying to find a spot where the grass was suitable for both foraging and hiding.  Tonight, I found one perched in the open on a rock by the west pond.  I got my scope out to get a proper view and it started to move, but I did manage a bad photo.

Upland Sandpiper Bradford Farm 07-24-2012

As I was leaving tonight, I showed the picture to the farm superintendent Tim Reinbott.  He said he had a picture to show me of a bird he and a few others had seen a couple days before.  They had never seen a bird like this before at Bradford Farm.  We went out to where they saw it and had no luck relocating it.  Tim emailed me the photos and I'm fairly certain it is a juvenile male Ring-necked Pheasant.  Tim's first question was "Where do you think it came from?".  Since I've only been here a few months, I thought that would be a good question for the listserv.

Ring-necked Pheasant Bradford Farm

Are these birds common in mid-Missouri?  Does anyone have any insight on where this bird could have come from?  Is there an established population close to Columbia, or in the immediate area of Bradford Farm? 



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