Friday, August 8, 2014

Least Sandpipers are Large

Least Sandpipers as shown in the photo are quite small, in fact at six inches they are the smallest in the Sandpiper family. Yesterday morning when we visited Fairview Wetlands, Least Sandpipers provided us with the largest count at about 20 birds.  This was a surprising difference from two weeks ago when we were there and Virginia Rails were the largest number at 10 birds, and yet yesterday not a one could be seen or heard even after an attempt to call them in. Least Sandpipers are quite common and normally easy to separate from other similar sized sandpipers by their yellow-greenish legs.  But these birds were a little hard to make a positive identification on because they were up to their elbows in mud so to speak.

The second largest count went to Greater Yellowlegs at seven birds for this small pond. A much larger bird, they measure fourteen inches from bill to tail.

The Killdeer count was two. They measure ten and a half inches.

A single Great Blue Heron was the biggest bird of the day by far at forty-six inches,  which under closer examination turned out to be a juvenile. Notice its total black cap.      

1 comment:

  1. Great observations! We have missed our normal Killdeer attempts at nesting this year but had a ten fold abundance of Robins & consective nestings. It is amazing how changes in climate year to year affects the flora & fauna.