[Tweeters] RE: ID help sought for various Ocean Shores birds

Rebecca Laszlo minustide at live.com
Tue Aug 10 10:33:43 PDT 2010

It's been suggested I compile responses received on my questions last night.
Thanks to Teresa, Michael, Ian, Stefan, Kelly, Richard, Jim and Guy. One
person commented: "All these birds get tricky this time of year, because the
adults are coming out of breeding plumage, and the juveniles are moving
around a lot. And there are a LOT of juveniles around!"

Everyone (8 people) says my huge flock was SOOTY SHEARWATER. I was so
pleased to learn so much of their behaviors from you (following bait fish,
breeding off NZ, appearing to dive through waves, color variations).

3 people say my loon is RED-THROATED LOON, 2 people say PACIFIC LOON. The
upturned bill was dramatic, so I think it's RED-THROATED. Here is the

"The loon is a Red-throated. Look at the shape of the bill and the way it is
pointed upwards. Only one loon does that."

"Pacific Loon. Straight, fine bill. But not fine enough or slightly
up-turned for a Red-Throated Loon. Not heavy enough for a Common Loon"

"I can't tell for sure about the loon but its probably a Pacific Loon but
don't know."

Everyone (5 people) agrees on my little RED-NECKED PHALAROPE. Discussion:

"Yes, Red-necked Phalarope. Inland, Wilson's would be another possibility.
At the beach, you have to distinguish it from Red. Look at how the back is
striped, Red is plain."

"Yes, Red-Necked Phalarope. Nice pics. in a transitional plumage."

Because the size of my peep was definitely smaller than a western (I was
only 20 feet away from them), I believe they were LEAST SANDPIPERS.
Discussion was all over the map, but it's the size that seals it for me:

"Baird's Sandpiper"

"Least Sandpiper. While they are more likely to be found in inland marshes
(such as John's River), they like to hide out on the outer beaches. They are
tiny. Solitary would be quite a bit larger than Western and would also ONLY
be at inland wetlands."

"Not a Solitary. With the rusty color, and slightly dropping, fairly long
bill, I would say a Western Sandpiper in transitional plumage. Not really
gray enough for a Baird's, and the wing tips are about the same extension as
the tail."

Pics located here:

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-Rebecca Laszlo, Seattle WA, minustide at live.com

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