Saturday 28 November 2009

Spotted Sandpiper

Another lifer for me today, with good views of the Spotted Sandpiper just down the road at Topsham. It's certainly not easy to spot the differences between Spotted Sandpiper and Common Sandpiper, especially at some distance but once seen close up and well they are all too apparent (today I wasn't convinced until I got a closer view). The yellow legs the most striking feature, the shorter tail, rather plain tertials, pinkish bill and short wing bar (surprisingly difficult to discern in flight I thought). Another very obvious difference was the silence. In my experience Common Sandpipers almost always call when they fly off, this bird never made a peep. Anyway I got a few photos before the rain set in this afternoon. Nice bird, VERY educational. It would be great to see it overwinter and begin to get it's spots in the spring. There's that optimism again! :-)

Don't know how I managed to focus on the bird in this one.
I almost always get the branches nice and sharp in this situation.

Head on it doesn't look quite as 'squashed' as a Common Sandpiper to me.

Awful photo but it does show the extent of the white wing bar, the clinching feature, as if those bright yellow legs weren't enough!


Anonymous said...

Well done, Karen. That head on shot is a belter.

Karen Woolley said...

Cheers Dean :-)