19 November 2011

Oh yeah, I saw a Sharp-tailed Sand today

Bagged the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitchers and Spotted Sandpiper (plus Red-breasted Merganser, Bewick's Swans, etc., etc.) at Chew Valley Lake this morning and then popped down to Torr Reservoir for the really good stuff,...

A few images of the, rather light-dependent, breast coloration, the contrast between coverts and their pale tips and bill structure [NB. Will try for better shots of the same on the Gwent bird tomorrow,... again]. Didn't hear any calls definitely attributable to the Richardson's but, when the entire Canada (plus Bar-headed,... plus Canada x Greylag hybrid) flock flew from the fields to the reservoir at dusk, I did hear two very high pitched (but more-or-less canadensis structured calls), probably higher pitched than any female canadensis I have heard and, presumably, emanating from the little guy/gal.

Cutesy but not too cutesy bill profile. This bird has a much more restricted whitish collar at the base of the neck sock than our little tiddler.

Second generation scapular tips markedly more contrasting (broader and paler) than, actually not that contrasting, juvenile covert tips.

Ditto re scaps but note that brassy/bronzey sheen to the upper breast/lower neck.

Ditto re scaps but, wait a minute?! Where'd the metalwork go?

A less subtle example of the effect of different lighting on the breast. Now you see it,...

Never been to Torr before, not a bad little reservoir, even had a few waders with two Black-tailed Godwits, eight Snipe and five Lapwing dotted about,... not quite Chew mind.

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