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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 21:38   #1
Gduff
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Common Sandpiper? (France)

Is that an individual with plain, unbarred tertials?

I thought it was diagnostic for Spotted Sandpiper?
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 22:07   #2
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Think the amount of barring on greater coverts suggests Common Sandpiper to me.
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 23:11   #3
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Don't Spotted tend to have lighter bills and legs too?
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 23:37   #4
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Originally Posted by Strontium Dog View Post
Don't Spotted tend to have lighter bills and legs too?
Spotted legs should be grubby orange through to yellow, and tail looks quite long also. Think the bill could be fairly variable. All suggests Common here to me, but only bird I saw had bright yellow legs, so much easier with that feature on its own. Tertials look only point for Spotted for me, although not too clear, and greater coverts look off.
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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 05:39   #5
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Originally Posted by Strontium Dog View Post
Don't Spotted tend to have lighter bills and legs too?
And noticably shorter tails


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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 08:04   #6
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Thank you for your answers. Everything points to a Common, except the plain tertials.

That means that you must have several criterias to properly ID a Spotted Sand, and unlike what's written on some books (Vinicombe's Helm Identification Guide), the 'unbarred tertials' criteria is NOT diagnostic !
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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 09:17   #7
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Originally Posted by Gduff View Post
Thank you for your answers. Everything points to a Common, except the plain tertials.

That means that you must have several criterias to properly ID a Spotted Sand, and unlike what's written on some books (Vinicombe's Helm Identification Guide), the 'unbarred tertials' criteria is NOT diagnostic !
From what I can see there IS a hint of barring there, but it's not easy to see due to slight softness in the image. Perhaps the tertial edges are partly worn off too, but I'd be wary of saying this feature is unreliable as an ID feature-you just have to look really hard for it on this bird
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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 12:08   #8
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ID of Spotted can be a bit of a nightmare.

I've recently had a similar problem which started off as a difficulty with the tail projection beyond the primaries. I thought that was a clincher until I started reading up and looking at pictures on a well known bird reporting site. It seems that Spotted can have quite a long tail extension (according to the Advanced ID Guide up to half the length of the bill, whereas Common should be longer than that). There are pics showing Spotted (luckily in breeding plumage) with seemingly quite long extensions - and Commons with seemingly quite short.

Other supposed ID features also seem to show quite a lot of overlap.

At the end of the day if you can get close enough and get good enough pictures then all should be well.
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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 12:54   #9
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Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
ID of Spotted can be a bit of a nightmare.

I've recently had a similar problem which started off as a difficulty with the tail projection beyond the primaries. I thought that was a clincher until I started reading up and looking at pictures on a well known bird reporting site. It seems that Spotted can have quite a long tail extension (according to the Advanced ID Guide up to half the length of the bill, whereas Common should be longer than that). There are pics showing Spotted (luckily in breeding plumage) with seemingly quite long extensions - and Commons with seemingly quite short.

Other supposed ID features also seem to show quite a lot of overlap.

At the end of the day if you can get close enough and get good enough pictures then all should be well.
Make sure you find an adult in summer, job done


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