Thursday, May 7, 2015

Estero Shorebirds, 5/7/15

This morning I ran over to Estero Llano Grande State Park to checkout shorebirds.  When water levels are low in the spring it's a great place to compare plumages get some photos.  I ran into Mary Beth Stowe and some of her San Diego friends at Dowitcher pond.  We were soon onto a White-rumped Sandpiper.  Notice the fine streaking on the breast and sides and of course the white rump.  Mary Beth also pointed out a field mark I was unaware of, a pale base on the mandible.

There were quite a few Least Sandpipers around,  The yellow legs and long drooping bill give them away. This one is redder than the field guides show.  The second is a little less red.  They are brown during the winter.

The black legs and short, thicker bill make this a Semipalmated Sandpiper.  You can also make out the partial webbing between the toes.

The Stilt Sandpipers are easy to ID in the spring.

The white feather edgings on the tertials and back make this a Long-billed Dowitcher.  The Short-billed Dowitcher has gold feather edgings in spring.

I think this is a first spring female Wilson's Phalarope molting into breeding plumage.

That was fun.  I need to take advantage of these low water levels in the coming days.