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  Trying to sort out non-breeding plumage in small sandpipers.  I can't say that I have any experience doing this, so I may have embarrassed myself - they might not even be sandpipers.  These all come from tidal mudflats at Bunche Beach / San Carlos Bay near Sanibel Island, FL, on Feb 6, 2022.  Attached are three photos I am calling Western Sandpipers, and three that I call Least Sandpiper (these three are views of same bird).  Confirmation or correction would be appreciated.  Thanks.  Rich

DSCN0100 - Western Sandpiper.JPG

DSCN0108 - Western Sandpiper.JPG

DSCN0120 - Western Sandpiper.JPG

DSCN0127 - Least Sandpiper.JPG

DSCN0128 - Least Sandpiper.JPG

DSCN0129 - Least Sandpiper.JPG

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Thanks, Avery.  My 'Western' vs 'Semipalmated' was based strictly frequency, not any features of the birds.  Ebird shows many dozens of Westerns on this beach every day, and the last Semipalmated was shown back in late October.  And, the Cornell range maps show semipalmated in the US only for nesting and migration - all winter populations appear to be south of the US mainland.

So, my designation is based on probability, not on any wisdom I have in identifying them.  I'm not good enough to make an independent assessment.

Rich

 

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2 hours ago, Richard Larsen said:

Thanks, Avery.  My 'Western' vs 'Semipalmated' was based strictly frequency, not any features of the birds.  Ebird shows many dozens of Westerns on this beach every day, and the last Semipalmated was shown back in late October.  And, the Cornell range maps show semipalmated in the US only for nesting and migration - all winter populations appear to be south of the US mainland.

So, my designation is based on probability, not on any wisdom I have in identifying them.  I'm not good enough to make an independent assessment.

Rich

 

Ah, I didn't realize Semi-palms weren't around. My apologies

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10 hours ago, Richard Larsen said:

My 'Western' vs 'Semipalmated' was based strictly frequency, not any features of the birds.  Ebird shows many dozens of Westerns on this beach every day, and the last Semipalmated was shown back in late October.

Range and seasonal frequency are certainly "good enough to make an independent assessment"!  They're as acceptable as physical appearance when distinguishing species.  Th

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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