ID Challenge #2 - closes 14 August 2010

Monthly challenge to test and improve your bird identification skills.
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David Riddell
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Re: ID Challenge #2 - closes 14 August 2010

Postby David Riddell » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:04 am

Well, this is going to be a lottery. It's either a Mongolian, Large Sand or NZ Dotterel in non-breeding plumage, but which one? They're notoriously difficult to separate, one of the main clues being size, and there are no other birds to compare with. It looks rather dark on the back to be NZ, but this could be a matter of lighting/exposure. On the other hand the feathers on the back are rather more strongly patterned than is normal for either of the other two, but looking at a few photos some birds seem to get like this at some stages of moult. I think I'll tentatively rule out Mongolian on the basis that it doesn't have much of an eyebrow, the shoulder patch isn't noticeably dark, and the bill doesn't look unduly small, so one of the other two then.

Is that reddish markings on the breast, or just a bit of mud? Looks kind of streaky to me, and rather low down on the belly, not like the normal soft wash of an NZ dot. so I'll go with the latter, not that that rules out NZ. It doesn't seem to have the horizontal stance typical of large sand, but that could be a momentary thing caught by the camera. Does it look rather long in the legs? Well, yes it does, but not dramatically so. I get the feeling this would be a lot easier to get if we had movie footage. Dammit, overall I can't see enough reasons for it not to be NZ, so I'll go with that. NZ Dotterel. There, I've said it.
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Re: ID Challenge #2 - closes 14 August 2010

Postby Photog » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:31 am

I think this is a non breeding Mongolian Dotterel. Shorter bill than the Large Sand Dotterel, shorter grey legs and more compact body position.
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Nick Allen
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Re: ID Challenge #2 - closes 14 August 2010

Postby Nick Allen » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:29 pm

New Zealand Dotterel
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Re: ID Challenge #2 - closes 14 August 2010

Postby harrier.talon » Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:38 pm

Greater sand dotterel

- Andrew Thomas
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Re: ID Challenge #2 - closes 14 August 2010

Postby quattrocchi » Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:27 pm

New Zealand dotterel, non-breeding. or a Mongolian Dotterel, in winter plumage.
Going with the former: non-breeding New Zealand dotterel.

Brian and Ruth
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Peter Frost
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Re: ID Challenge #2 - closes 14 August 2010

Postby Peter Frost » Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:49 am

Mongolian Dotterel (Charadrius mongolus). Leg proportions (large tarsus:visible tibia ratio), bill shape (smallish, with no terminal bulge and has a rounded rather than pointed tip) rule out Large Sand Dotterel. The bill shape is also wrong for NZ Dotterel (the lower mandible does no edge upwards towards the tip), and there is no sign of any rufous tinge to the upper breast feathers. Body shape and leg:body depth ratio eliminates Banded Dotterel; the bird looks too long legged. And, again, there is no sign of any rufous on the sides of the breast which most Banded Dotts show, at least in my limited experience. Overall, the bird doesn't look right for anything other than Mongolian Dotterel, but I've been wrong before, so... :)

Peter Frost
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Re: ID Challenge #2 - closes 14 August 2010

Postby Clinton9 » Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:12 pm

This young dotterel is a Large Sand Dotterel (charadrius leschenaultii) in immature plumage (first winter).
Large Sand Dotterel are straggler to NZ shores.

Clinton Care. (Bird man)
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Re: ID Challenge #2 - closes 14 August 2010

Postby Jan » Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:58 pm

New Zealand Dotterel.
Tibia too short and forehead not steep enough for Greater Sand Plover. I hope.
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Re: ID Challenge #2 - closes 14 August 2010

Postby TonyWilson » Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:06 pm

This looks like one of the sand plovers and I'll go for Greater Sand Plover based on the size and shape of the bill.
Cheers, Tony.
Richard Schofield
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Re: ID Challenge #2 - closes 14 August 2010

Postby Richard Schofield » Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:25 pm

Large Sand Dotterel

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