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Sanderling? BVI

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Old Thursday 16th August 2007, 01:11   #1
Isurus
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Sanderling? BVI

I reckon these are sanderling - they are running around with least sandpipers on the salt pond margins:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/deep-blue/1132457200/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/deep-blue/1132456694/
Would appreciate any thoughts offered in the face of these terrible photos.

edited to add: I also considered western and semi-palmated sandpipers but have no experience with any of these species.

Last edited by Isurus : Thursday 16th August 2007 at 01:17.
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Old Thursday 16th August 2007, 01:48   #2
Gavin Goodyear
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G'day Isurus,

Not too good with waders (especially those that don't occur in Aus) but one of your photos appears to show a hind toe which Sanderling lack. It seems stint like to me but I stress I'm not very good with waders.

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Old Thursday 16th August 2007, 01:52   #3
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The first image shows a hind-toe, which rules out Sanderling. My guess is Semipalmated, but I usually get those wrong anyway

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Old Thursday 16th August 2007, 01:57   #4
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I'm thinking the images are of Semipalmated Sandpipers, based on overall gray plumage, the shape of the bill, and the presence of a hind toe.
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Old Thursday 16th August 2007, 02:15   #5
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Also am I right in saying the WS can be discounted as the bill's a little too long and lacks the slight downward curved tip? In which case due to the hind toe being present and taking out the Sandpiper that leaves Semipalmated Sandpiper, but what about a Little Stint?

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Old Thursday 16th August 2007, 02:43   #6
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Good eye Gavin. That hind toe excludes Sanderling for sure. As far as bill length goes, females on average have longer bills than males so a long-billed Semi (female) will be close to that of a short-billed Western (male). I take it these two aren't the same bird? Where exactly were these photographed? This might help if you give all the pertinent info. Number two does look like a Semi to me.
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Old Thursday 16th August 2007, 02:48   #7
Isurus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcwings View Post
Good eye Gavin. That hind toe excludes Sanderling for sure. As far as bill length goes, females on average have longer bills than males so a long-billed Semi (female) will be close to that of a short-billed Western (male). I take it these two aren't the same bird? Where exactly were these photographed? This might help if you give all the pertinent info. Number two does look like a Semi to me.

All taken in BVI as per the thread title, Tortola specifically (which I think excludes Little Stint). If you mean in terms of where habitatwise; a small saltwater pond by a beach with plenty of soft shallow mud.

They may well be different birds - there were 3 or 4 of them running around being uncooperative but I'm fairly sure they were all pretty much identical.
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Old Thursday 16th August 2007, 12:22   #8
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Location does not help very much, we had both semipalmated and westerns in Puerto Rico recently. But four little stint *before* any hurricanes crossed the atlantic, now that would be something (in other words, I agree that little stint is pretty much excluded based on location)

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Old Thursday 16th August 2007, 13:09   #9
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these are semipees and little stint can be ruled out certainly by the dark horizontal line on lores.these are adult birds so you'd see also some remnants of summ.plum on western upperparts. the second photo is quite longbilled but still has a blob tip. you may also expect some dark markings on the flanks if it was western, icant see any so semi-pees they are. gs
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Old Thursday 16th August 2007, 16:13   #10
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The bill on #2 is right for semi, not western. If #1 is the same (as opposed to having some length of bill buried in the sand), that would also match. I do believe that westerns would still have more rufous tones at this time of year.

So I agree with semi sands.
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