Thursday, August 1, 2013

To Stint or not To Stint...

So here we go again, am I faced with another one of those odd looking Semipalmated Sandpiper or did I just land the coveted Little Stint. Last year, I had a candidate that I let go only because I was not as confident as others, mind you some bright minds in the birding community thought I nailed one last year.  For example, Blair Nikula the shorebird aficionado who pulls out Little Stints like you would not believe it up in MA, wrote back to me in response to a photo I had sent him, "tell me why this is not a Little Stint". You would think with that endorsement I would have written it up and send it to NYSARC (New York State Avian Record Committee), but I am a stubborn creature and when I don't feel sold on an ID, I don't go for it; I would rather let it go and that is what I did. Discipline is what I like to call it; others call it nuts and stubborn!

So today when every sane person was trying to remain dry, I thought I would take my mind off from work and get in on some rain soaked birding at Jamaica Bay Queens NY. That is exactly what it was "rain soaked"- minus the birding and I was asking myself what the heck was I doing on the East Pond wet and shivering, when this little guy stepped into view. Take a look and let me know what you think. Semipalmated Sandpiper albiet a very small one or a Little Stint.
8-2-2013 I put some more thoughts into this last night and I think this is a Semipalmated Sandpiper, probably a male with some bright plumage. I am I threw the images up and opened it up for discussion. We shall see what others will add to this.
Interesting peep is the one to the far left.  Note primary projection and bill size to nearby SESA's

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Alan Tilmouth said...

The dark lores and ear coverts, lack of 'split' supercilium and no bright mantle braces all point to a juvenile Semi-p. I also fancy I can see a semipalmation on the raised foot in your second image. Timing might also suggest Semi-p, juvenile Little Stints may not yet be on the move south.


Thanks Alan, I felt it was a SESA. But wanted to throw it out for clarification. Appreciate you taking the time to look at the images and commenting.