Friday, August 5, 2016

Fri-D: Size, Shape, Behavior. . .and, Of Course, Voice

[Which one of these is not like the other?]

Backlit and far. Sucks. But you play the hand you're dealt, so at the South Cape Meadows, NJ we're looking into the light a couple days ago and see the scene above. Three small shorebirds, "peep" sandpipers. But one is clearly bigger. That one also looks more muscular, with broader and deeper "shoulders," and also has a longer looking rear end, which impression is created by longer wings. Its feet are in the water, which pretty much rules out Baird's Sandpiper (as does the date, too early). So, White-rumped Sandpiper it is, my first southbound individual of this species this year.

Now for the confession: I heard the high, mouse-like squeaks of White-rumped Sandpiper as I walked down the Meadows east path, and set out to find it. Found two, actually. Way easier by voice.

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