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2 minutes ago, akiley said:

This is actually a Western Willet in breeding plumage. Long, thin bill without any pink, and long legs. 

Thanks, akiley. Could you recommend a webpage or a resource  for better differentiating the two? I thought this one looked too densely marked for Western. Thanks.

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Hopefully this upload worked. An excellent resource from Michael O'Brien. The problem with explaining IDs like this is that there are structural clues that are clear but hard to put into words or easily explain.

Edited by akiley
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13 minutes ago, akiley said:

This is actually a Western Willet in breeding plumage. Long, thin bill without any pink, and long legs. 

I agree with the long bill, long legs, no pink on beak, but there seems to be very strong markings on the chest and head which makes me lean towards eastern.

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12 minutes ago, akiley said:

Hopefully this upload worked. An excellent resource from Michael O'Brien. The problem with explaining IDs like this is that there are structural clues that are clear but hard to put into words or easily explain.

I was just reminded that I have The Shorebird Guide by O'Brien, Crossley and Karlson. I'll have to spend more time with that excellent resource. 

Edited by HamRHead
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3 minutes ago, HamRHead said:

I was just reminded that I have The Shorebird Guide by O'Brien, Crossley and Karlson. I'll have to spend more time with that excellent resource. 

I would be interested in your thoughts after looking at your "The Shorebird Guide" -- like you I was thinking your species looks too dark for a Western.

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11 minutes ago, kms15 said:

I would be interested in your thoughts after looking at your "The Shorebird Guide" -- like you I was thinking your species looks too dark for a Western.

Here goes. While the barring here looks good to me for Eastern breeding, the all-dark slightly upturned bill and dark legs point to Western. I can't get a feel for structure from this one photo, but I am satisfied that akiley has correctly pegged this one as a Western.

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I appreciate the confirmation and discussion going on, here are a couple more shots from the group in case that helps:

481196340_LR-8158copy.thumb.jpg.c789fb780f9782dc797617892ba037cf.jpg

2015999789_LR-8203copy.thumb.jpg.9ece2c1eebf16be5567b7d6073a4de43.jpg

774362034_LR-8221copy.thumb.jpg.3848150154fc55becd124aa7a513d9eb.jpg

Especially the second picture looks really close to an adult breeding (April-August) Eastern Willet in my Sibleys guide.

Edited by mpfuchs
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