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View Full Version : What kind of shorebird is this? [pics are in flight only]


Phlosphr
11-16-2008, 03:57 PM
I was walking along a rocky, craggy shore this afternoon and saw these really small shorebirds. Before I could get a good shot off of them on the rocks they took flight. So, here (http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/Phlosphr/shorebird.jpg)they are (http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r156/Phlosphr/shorebird2.jpg). Any idea what kind of bird they are? I'm thinking Plover, but might be wrong. They are really dark.

Colibri
11-16-2008, 04:14 PM
They appear to be Rock Sandpipers.

What coast are you on? Purple Sandpiper is very similar, but is exclusively on the Atlantic coast. I am going by the comparative paleness of the outer tail feathers to guess these are Rock rather than Purple.

It always helps to state location in an ID thread.

Colibri
11-16-2008, 04:22 PM
Here's a Rock Sandpiper (http://i.pbase.com/o3/58/287858/1/87788233.gopR3maN.070627RockSandpiper6343.jpg) in flight, showing the wing and tail pattern. Note that this bird is in breeding plumage, while yours are in winter plumage.

Phlosphr
11-16-2008, 04:27 PM
I was at Sachuest Point National Wildelife Refuge, just north of Newport, Rhode Island. It was a beautiful day! And there were a lot of birds coming through. I followed a group of hooded Mergansers, but I didn't get a pic of them.
Rock Sandpiper. That looks about right, so they are in winter plumage already..

Colibri
11-16-2008, 04:39 PM
I was at Sachuest Point National Wildelife Refuge, just north of Newport, Rhode Island. It was a beautiful day! And there were a lot of birds coming through. I followed a group of hooded Mergansers, but I didn't get a pic of them.
Rock Sandpiper. That looks about right, so they are in winter plumage already..


If they are on the east coast, then they are Purple Sandpipers. The two species are virtually identical in some plumages, especially in winter, but don't occur together, Rock being found on the west coast. I was going on a slight difference in tail pattern, but it's not all that distinct.

They have similar habits, being found on rocky shores.

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