[Tweeters] Alki today

Michael Hobbs birdmarymoor at verizon.net
Sun Aug 14 16:59:18 PDT 2005

Tweets - this morning I needed to give my wife a ride to West Seattle, and 
after I dropped her off, I made a swing around Alki.  There wasn't much to 

However, just south of the lighthouse, at the very north end of Beach Rd. 
(where it turns into Alki Ave.), I had a small group of shorebirds that 
included both WESTERN SANDPIPER and SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER.  It was great to 
be able to study them side by side at very close range.

The Semipalms were notably grayer and mostly shorter billed.  Bill size 
ranged widely among the 6 birds present, however.  A couple were very 
clearly long-billed and hence Westerns.  A couple were very clearly 
short-billed and thus Semipalms.  Then there were the two in the middle. 
The Western bill seems to have a bit of a bulge at the tip, which helped me 
to distinguish, as did the coloration on the backs.

Once I'd decided I could tell Western from Semipalmated Sandpipers, I 
examined their feet.  Through patient observation, I was able to see the 
semipalmation (slight webbing) of the feet on the ones I'd decided were 
SESAs, and I could see it lacking on the ones I'd labeled as WESAs.  Yay!  I 
got them right.

== Michael Hobbs
== Kirkland, WA
== http://www.scn.org/fomp/birding.htm
== birdmarymoor at verizon.net 

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