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Salton Sea - summer


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6 minutes ago, Tony Leukering said:

The first bird is a Willet -- some of the white wing stripe is even visible.

That bill is awfully thin and decurved for a Willet and the structure is way off. It looks like a leucistic Stilt Sandpiper.

Edited by akandula
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47 minutes ago, akandula said:

That bill is awfully thin and decurved for a Willet and the structure is way off. It looks like a leucistic Stilt Sandpiper.

I see what you're saying with Stilt but I'm not sure that's right. Barring on the sides and structure do look Stilt Sand like.

If this is a Willet, it's a Western Willet, which have thinner bills than Eastern. The white in the wing here could be leucism, but something other than that just doesn't look right for Stilt to me. Bird seems really chunky for a species that shouldn't be much larger than a Dunlin. Bill also looks rather straight for Stilt I would think. 

Not sure either way, but just some thoughts.

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Western Willet bills don't look like that. But I can't explain away the white wing patch, since the individual feather pattern looks identical to a Willet, and the plumage looks better for Willet. Any ideas why the bill would be so wrong? Hybrid?

Edited by Melierax
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I'm really struggling to see this as a Willet. The neck is very slender and it doesn't have a Willet's stocky appearance. Also, the bill is slender and slightly drooping, which is a good match for Stilt Sandpiper. Willet would have a much thicker bill. Not sure about the plumage, but structure definitely looks off for a Willet.

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I think that the bill size to body size ratio is off for a stilted because as you can see here stilted sandpipers have a noticeably long bill for there body size

(lesser yellow legs in background)

image.jpeg.848b6c270c86c2afc9fa9145032b6185.jpeg

I also believe that the bird in the picture up top does not have nearly as obvious downturn as this bird does, although i do still agree that a willet doesn't quite fit here either because of the less stocky build of the bird

image.jpeg

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