"Possible" Western Sandpiper at Miranda

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Grahame
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"Possible" Western Sandpiper at Miranda

Postby Grahame » Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:13 am

Yesterday morning i found a wader on the stilt ponds that at first I thought was the Broad-billed, but then quickly discounted that, as we had been watching it a few moments earlier and noted its head markings were now very well defined. I sent a rather poor photo and the reply was it is a stint, The four of us (myself, Amanda Hunt and two american birders) thought there is no way, it was too large, with a long curved bill. Later it flew a short distance and showed a black centered tail with white sides. The first photo is my original, the second one had been kindly enhanced by Paul G
Poss Western Sand.jpg
Poss Western Sand.jpg (215.21 KiB) Viewed 1381 times
Miranda Wader Edit.jpg
Miranda Wader Edit.jpg (445.87 KiB) Viewed 1381 times
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Michael Szabo
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Re: "Possible" Western Sandpiper at Miranda

Postby Michael Szabo » Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:35 pm

Here's the link to the earlier thread which concluded the previous 'possible Western Sandpiper' was a Broad-billed Sandpiper:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=8814
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RussCannings
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Re: "Possible" Western Sandpiper at Miranda

Postby RussCannings » Sat Dec 14, 2019 1:22 pm

Hi Grahame,

Interesting bird for sure. Would you be able to provide more field notes (particular features not visible in the photos)? Leg colour and relative length, posture, bodyshape, primary projection (these latter two relative to other calidrids would be helpful), any feather details noted etx.

Russ
Currently in snowy Canada
Grahame
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Re: "Possible" Western Sandpiper at Miranda

Postby Grahame » Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:24 pm

Sorry Russ, but like yourself I am away. However Amanda Hunt (shoreguide) was taking notes. The legs were very dark, and as can be seen in the photos the primaries were showing black. The back was heavily marked and showed a brownish colour. Noticeably so compared to the adjacent Wrybills. As the bird spent nearly all the time asleep facing away from us, posture etc were hard to determine, but, because it slept a lot , we had excellent
views of the top and sides of the head to ensure it was not the Broad billed we had been watching a few moments earlier. The two american birders who were familiar with Western, were satisfied with our Western call.
I hope that is helpful.
Cheers, Grahame
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Michael Szabo
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Re: "Possible" Western Sandpiper at Miranda

Postby Michael Szabo » Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:11 pm

Here is a link to my photo of a Western Sandpiper in breeding plumage taken in LA in May for comparison. The bird you have photographed looks larger than the one in my photo. When you compare it to the Wrybill it also looks too big for WS:
https://scontent.fpmr1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/ ... e=5E6CE885
Last edited by Michael Szabo on Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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AlanShaw
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Re: "Possible" Western Sandpiper at Miranda

Postby AlanShaw » Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:11 pm

Western Sandpiper-juv---USA September.jpg
Western Sandpiper-juv---USA September.jpg (47.7 KiB) Viewed 1248 times
Here is a photo that I have used in the UK to compare with possible Western Sandpipers. It is a juvenile photographed in the USA in September. The colouring on the back and wings does bear some resemblance to the Miranda bird. Note that size can be difficult to judge from photos taken with long lenses or through a telescope. Birds in the foreground often look smaller than birds in the background due to the distance compression effects of these telescopic lenses.
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RussCannings
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Re: "Possible" Western Sandpiper at Miranda

Postby RussCannings » Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:02 pm

Has anyone else seen this bird again? Appreciate that field observers liked the idea of Western, but as an armchair observer it's hard to do much with just this photo and the notes provided (especially since it was mostly sleeping). I agree it's not a Broad-billed but beyond that there are numerous possibilities with a scrunched up calidrid.
Grahame
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Re: "Possible" Western Sandpiper at Miranda

Postby Grahame » Tue Dec 17, 2019 6:36 pm

I understand that Paul G saw it in front of the stilt hide, on Sunday and said it is absolutely not a Broad-bill.
Cheers, Grahame
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Michael Szabo
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Re: "Possible" Western Sandpiper at Miranda

Postby Michael Szabo » Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:11 am

Did he get any photos?
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Grahame
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Re: "Possible" Western Sandpiper at Miranda

Postby Grahame » Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:33 am

I am meeting Imogen at Miranda tomorrow, so hopefully there will be some nice photos if the bird will play ball.
Cheers, Grahame

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