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The other day in NW Arkansas


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I'll throw a couple of too easy confirmations in with a couple others and some other thoughts...

First an easy one...  American Bittern...  I've only ever seen one before... this time, I was driving down a road near the hatchery that is often a good road. I wasn't even going to make a checklist til I saw this at the edge of a farm pond. While staring, and hanging out my sun/moon roof to get better pics, I then heard a bobolink singing... and just down the road, three upland sandpipers. Was pretty cool
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Back at the hatchery just before this... I was there to see a black-necked stilt... something that doesn't show up in these parts often. Turned out to be a pair... 
Here are some, what I believe to be yellowlegs... I'm having a hard time judging the bill length from these not so great pics. I feel like with yellowlegs, sometimes it's easy... real easy... and then sometimes, I feel I could go either way. One pic is next to the stilt which gives a little bit of a size comparison.
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While taking some photos of a single avocet, some peeps flew... Lousy pics... I cropped it to the two that show up best in the pic. Maybe unidentifiable. I did have two least sandpipers that were easy enough to pick up with the leg color...  but, these here are flying and not lit well.
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Last is a question about phalaropes. These were flying almost the whole time I observed them. At one point they got REAL close, almost flew straight at me. I had my binoculars at my eyes at that point. If I switched to the camera I would have gotten some awesome views and perhaps decent pics but, I decided that 1. if I switched what I was holding, they'd switch course sooner and they were headed straight at me and 2. I might as well enjoy this direct flight towards me... I REALLY want to get better pictures all the time but sometimes you just have to enjoy the moment. 🙂
Anyway... the question.........  There are two that are lighter, one in particular, and I'm wondering if I'm reading the guides correctly that it's just an age thing.
Side note... When I first saw these, their necks and legs are all pulled in so tight, I thought I was watching semipalmated plovers fly around. But, that color was all wrong... had to be phalaropes...  Never saw them flying like this before so it was a neat experience...
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I can confirm the Bittern. Not gonna touch on the Yellowlegs or peeps.....I believe the darker ones are females, and the lighter ones are males. Phalaropes are one of the few bird species where the females are actually brighter then then males.

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