Hi Jeff, et. al.,
I agree that images two and three are juvenile Baird's Sandpiper, image
four is a juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs, and image five is a juvenile
Semipalmated Plover (as I am sure you knew already).
The bird in image one I also took for a Baird's at first, but it clearly
could not be the same individual as the one in images two and three as
it is much rustier looking and the coverts are very different (whitish
limited to the feather tips with a lot more rich buff). On further
examination I have come to the conclusion that the bird in image one is
a juvenile Semipalmated Sandpiper, a remarkably unworn bird at that.
Anyone who doubts this should compare the primary projections of the
definite Baird's in images two and three and the bird in the first
image. In the first bird only three primary tips can be easily seen and
only two project far beyond the longest tertial. In the Baird's shown
here four primary tips extend well beyond the longest tertial. Other
details that point to Semipalmated include length of tarsus, both above
and below the heel joint (notice how tall the Baird's looks versus bird
one), rusty-edged scapulars, bill shape and length (again compare
birds), and the short neck; Baird's tend to have a long, rather gull or
tern-like, neck that makes them look more gracile (see image two of the
alert-posture Baird's). The broad whitish tips on the Baird's coverts
make it look scalier as opposed to the mostly rich warm buff edging of
the coverts in the Semipalmated, hence the overall rusty-buff appearance
of bird one. Thanks for the superb photos, better than the images of
Baird's and fresh juv SemiSand I reviewed in Paulson and "The Shorebird
Guide", looking at them was most educational for me. A bird in motion,
whose calls and actions add to plumage and shape information, often
presents fewer ID problems than a still photo or a bird in the hand.
23460 Clarissa Rd
Chestertown, MD 21620
(formerly of Hartland and White River Jct., VT)
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you take a walk.
Jeff Nadler wrote:
> A few photos from a morning visit at Dead Creek. Although taken in several
> far apart places, I beleive the several photos of the first sandpiper are the
> same species ( saw several of these together each time). The black legs but
> slightly curved bill, to me suggest juvy white-rumped, or western. (least have
> green-yellow legs and semi-palmated has straight bill). Not sure though. Can
> anyone offer ID suggestion? Thanks.
> Jeff Nadler