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ID help Texas terns and shorebirds

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Old Sunday 19th July 2009, 13:53   #1
JeffMoh
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ID help Texas terns and shorebirds

Hi.

The attached were seen on Bolivar Peninsula near Galveston yesterday.

Could you see if you agree with my IDs? Many thanks.

Gull-billed Tern
Least Terns
Red Knot
Western Sandpiper
Wilson's Plover

Jeff
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Old Sunday 19th July 2009, 15:37   #2
jacana
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correct with the first two.

the third is not a knot (no pun intended) looks like a dowitcher sp.

can't help with the last two
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Old Sunday 19th July 2009, 16:06   #3
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Hi Jeff,

I think your IDs are correct for 1-2, and 4-5. #3 is certainly a tough angle and lighting! I'm thinking Stilt Sandpiper, given the well-defined supercilium, masked appearance, and remnants of barring on the belly. Bill and structure do not look quite right for a Dowitcher. (Does not seem long enough for one thing, though obviously length is difficult to judge from this angle).

Best,
Jim
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Old Sunday 19th July 2009, 17:09   #4
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Thanks to both of you.

#3 definitely wasn't a Dowitcher. I think Jim's probably right about Stilt.

4 out of 5 isn't bad for me with beach birds!

Jeff
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Old Sunday 19th July 2009, 20:46   #5
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Do i see a Forsters Tern in the back of pic 2?

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Old Sunday 19th July 2009, 21:02   #6
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No Forster's in there, just different ages of Least. Forster's would not have as much black around the eye, and it would tower over the Leasts.

The third photo is neither a dowitcher nor a Stilt. Both can be ruled out by the dark legs. The shape is good for dowitcher, but not Stilt, which is a very petite creature shaped more like a Lesser Yellowlegs. Beak shape and length don't match up for either too well.

The only other problem bird would be Willet, which never gets a supercillium like that nor traces of rust coloring underneath. This is a worn breeding Red Knot.
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Old Sunday 19th July 2009, 21:49   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birderbf View Post
The third photo is neither a dowitcher nor a Stilt. Both can be ruled out by the dark legs. ... This is a worn breeding Red Knot.
Not necessarily disagreeing with Knot (it does appear bulky for a Stilt Sand). But the tibias are longer than one would expect on a Knot. Compare this photo: http://www.birdspix.com/Species%20fo...20012%20cr.jpg
Furthermore, non-breeding Red Knots have light legs. Surely, if this is a Red Knot, it is not in breeding plumage, and so should also have light legs. Moreover, the legs are in the shade, and I don't think we can accurately tell whether they are dark or not (and in fact, when I lighten the photo, the legs appear somewhat lighter than the bill).

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Jim
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