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.

Good birding,

Walter Ellison

23460 Clarissa Rd
Chestertown, MD 21620

(formerly of Hartland and White River Jct., VT)

Observing Nature is like unwrapping a big pile of presents every time 
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