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Peep ID help

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Old Friday 12th August 2005, 17:14   #1
eteune
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Peep ID help

got some nice shorebirds migrating through Chicago area now.
This little guy seems brownish to be a Least, but the dark line in front of his eye, the white supercilium and lighter breast seem to point to Semipalmated, any ideas?

Oh, BTW, all the birds legs were covered in mud this day.

thanks,

Ed
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Old Friday 12th August 2005, 17:27   #2
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In Sibley's it says that the plain gray-brown color of the Semipalmated can be more rufous. I'm not sure if this is a Semipalmated though because I just looked at White-rumped juvenile and can see similarities to both. I would have to say that I'm leaning in favor of the juvenile White-rumped but am not positive.
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Old Friday 12th August 2005, 17:29   #3
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Well, looking at some of the other birds, you could still see color on parts of the legs, so I will put this one down as Semipalmated.
I gotta pick up a Sibley's one of these days, thanks.

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Old Friday 12th August 2005, 17:33   #4
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Sorry I changed my answer on you and didn't put it as an edit. That may confuse people so next time I will save what I originally put and then put Edit: below it.
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Old Friday 12th August 2005, 22:07   #5
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looks like a young semipalm to me
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Old Friday 12th August 2005, 23:49   #6
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Thanks, Lou,
trippy picture of you there...
There are a lot of semipalms out at Fermilab where I saw this one and none of the more experienced birders that frequent that spot have reported white-rumpeds.
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Old Saturday 13th August 2005, 09:14   #7
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The bird looks far too rufous in overall colour to be a Semip, and the bill shape and length is wrong for White-rumped. Also, the primaries do not extend beyond the tail, also eliminating White-rumped.

This leaves one of the Stints/peeps.

My intial reaction was in fact Little stint, but because there is no size comparison with other species, it could well be a Least. Juvenile plumage of both of these species is in fact very similar. Without leg colour to go on, we are going to need to see the scapular pattern in more detail.

Circumstantially, the bird's behaviour might help - Little stint is an active feeder, with constant motion and probing into mud. Least has a much more crouching gait and a more tentative feeding action.

Not sure how many records there are of Little stint in your area, but from that photo, it is a real possibility.

Hope this helps

Sean


.....as a post-script to this, I have just re-checked the Grant/Jonsson peeps article from 1984 and see that sometimes Semip can be quite rufous. I have seen probably five juvs in th eUK and many in South America, and don't remember ever seeing one quite this colour, though.

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Old Saturday 13th August 2005, 15:55   #8
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I have to agree on the Semipalmated though its quite close to the White Rumped. I think we still need few more opinions to realy set it down as one or the other.
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Old Saturday 13th August 2005, 16:16   #9
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Its a really rufous juv Semi P - has to be.. The bill shape and wing length rule out WRS.
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Old Monday 15th August 2005, 18:33   #10
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Ghostly Vision has a very interesting point, Bill and shape look good for Semipalm, but I have never seen a Semipalm Sand with half the rufous of this bird. There were about 50 in juvenal plumage at the really good shorebird spot near my home, and most of them were greyish, with a few exhibiting a row of rufous scapulars, the brightest ones were still dingier than your average juvenile Western. One thing that I'm worried about is that the leg in the foreground does not look very black, more of a sun on mud color.. This is a picture that I would send to whoever is considered the shorebird expert in your area, also post any other pics you have. I don't know anything about Stints but this is an interesting bird.
Also, a WRSA elliptical migration makes it almost as unlikely as one of the stints, and the shape is all wrong. My guesses (IMHO) in order of likelihood

1) abberantly plumaged juvenile SESA with a whole lot of extra rufous feathers

2) juvenile LESA with mud caked on bill and legs

3) vagrant stint

makes me wish I knew more about stints
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Old Monday 15th August 2005, 20:19   #11
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I tend to believe that this is a Semipalmated Sandpiper. The lightly brownish breast wash, the non-rufous back feathers and the rather stout, stubby bill all seem to point to this species. A Least Sandpiper would, I think, have more of a marked breast, have rufous-edged feathers on the back and have a thinner, more delicate bill.

The semi's I see here in Missouri are never this rufous. They are grayer.
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Old Tuesday 16th August 2005, 07:22   #12
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With the eye of faith I reckon I can see some nice anchor marks on esp the lower rear scaps. I think we are more used to seeing slightly later plumaged birds than this Sean.
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Old Wednesday 17th August 2005, 15:24   #13
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just bumping this up for some more attention..its still looks amazing rufous!
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