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S Florida - Shorebirds distant - dowitcher, yellowlegs? (1 Viewer)

Zackiedawg

Well-known member
Yesterday, I went out to some wetlands farther west and north than my usual spots, and there were quite a few wintering ducks and species - shovelers, widgeons, scaups, mergansers. Also there were some shorebirds - large flocks of least sandpipers...and far off in the distance, this gathering of birds with long bills. Without the benefit of the lens to zoom and just eyeing them, I figured they'd be yellowlegs, which are fairly common there...but after taking the shot and looking at them, I think they look more like dowitchers.

I'd appreciate a confirmation from anyone who can ID them - I'm thinking short-billed dowitchers as my most likely pick, but I'm not as deeply familiar with the different varieties of pipers, plovers, and other shorebirds.
 

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SteveClifton

Well-known member
I agree dowitchers and I think all are Long-billed: all have rather solid grey breasts & flanks that contrast strongly with white bellies; rather dark-centred scapulars and their bills seem on average to be quite long.
I think all are 1st years, and hence their plain tertials & remaining 1st gen wing coverts being plain, further support the ID as LBD.
 

Zackiedawg

Well-known member
Thank you both. Steve - being 1st year would explain why they don't have the usual reddish-brown tones along the wing that I associate with the long-billeds, which is why I was leaning towards the short-billed...I was bothered though that their bills indeed seemed quite long. I'm leaning towards your LBD ID now.
 

SteveClifton

Well-known member
Rufous tones would have been more obvious earlier in the autumn (juvenile plumage). This late in the autumn the scapulars have all been replaced for second generation feathers which are plainer grey.
 
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