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Dowitcher dilemma's


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Hi all! I had a flight of 8 Dowitchers, that I took to be LBDO's, try to land very close to me this morning before they realized I was there. I was able to get some flight shots and that is where the head scratching begins. I locked down on the last two birds as one looked to have the expected white lesser underwing coverts and the other seemed to have more of a uniform dark coloration and barring on the lesser underwing coverts. I'm thinking I had a lone SBDO with the group of 7 LBDO's but would always prefer to defer to the experts. This was from this morning 10/15/2021 in North Central Texas. 

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It was at Lake Grapevine in Tarrant County. Yes, the expected Dowitchers are LBDO's, but wildcards happen and the underwing seems to point at SBDO. The body and the bill also seem to point that way, but those characteristics are somewhat variable. So shall see if anyone else opines. Thanks! 

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9 hours ago, Justfitz said:

It was at Lake Grapevine in Tarrant County. Yes, the expected Dowitchers are LBDO's, but wildcards happen and the underwing seems to point at SBDO. The body and the bill also seem to point that way, but those characteristics are somewhat variable. So shall see if anyone else opines. Thanks! 

Okay! Do you know where Possum Kingdom Lake is? I am about 15 minutes from there,  or two hours from Fort Worth.

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3 hours ago, Justfitz said:

I should have clarified that the bird in question is on the right. The left hand bird is most definitely a LBDO. Thanks!   

I don’t think we can really see the underwing pattern on the right hand bird. We can only see part of the underwing of the opposing wing, and it is heavily shadowed. I just don’t think we can see enough there to identify it.

That being said, both location and date point to Long-billed (a VAST majority of inland Dowitchers by mid-October are Long-billed. So I’d assume Long-billed without evidence to the contrary. But if you want to be safe, Long-billed/Short-billed Dowitcher is a good call

 

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