When I saw this Killdeer today, it reminded me of a young bird I had photographed in almost the same spot early in the summer, so I decided to grab an image to do a before and after.
In another area of the county today, I saw about two dozen Killdeer in a freshly plowed field, and it was surprising how well they blended in until I scanned the field with binoculars.
Leonard's Pond, where this shot was taken, is a hotspot for birders in the central Shenandoah Valley. It's basically a large cow pond. The cows keep at least one area as a mudflat, and that attracts migrating shorebirds as well as the almost always present Killdeer. For birders, it helps that the pond is right next to a public road with room to pull off.
When I stopped by the pond today, in addition to 185 Canada Geese and some Mallards there were two Common Terns and four Dunlin. In the mountain and valley region of Virginia, the terns and Dunlin are both considered rare transients.
Photo: October 17, 2009, Leonard's Pond, Rockingham County, Virginia.