Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"Red"-backed and "Red-breasted" Sandpipers

That finest of alarm clocks, Tim's cell phone, awakened me again this time with news of a red knot at Tiscornia, as well as the "funkiest dunlin you'll ever see."

Apparently Tim was watching 2 dunlin get flushed by a beachwalker then out over the lake they were joined by a white shorebird and a couple others. They circled for a while and ended up on the pier. He scanned the pier intently looking for the white one hoping for a piping plover or phalarope or who knows what and glassed the flock ... dunlin, dunlin, dunlin, red knot, dunlin, where's-the-white-one, wait a second RED KNOT??? By the time I got there they were halfway to Jean Kloch.

If you have an old Peterson dunlin goes by the name of red-backed sandpiper. I guess this one was trying to live up to that name at the very least even if the rest of the bird was screaming peregrine bait.
Here's the knot, aka red-breasted sandpiper. It was the first breeding plumage knot I've ever seen, having encountered 2 fall birds in the past. Except for one row of winter wing coverts it was full breeding. It didn't really hold still.

In the afternoon after meeting up with an old friend Hugo, I followed Ginger around Harbert Park geo-caching. On the way there we passed a Red-headed woodpecker with a hole in a telephone pole and a beautiful cattail marsh I'd never seen before (ITS NEVER TOO EARLY TO START SCOUTING FOR BIRDATHON). This skipper was pretty common. I think it's a Hobomok skipper, but it might be any of at least 4 others...

Ginger spotted this fawn trusting on camouflage and motionless sleep to hide it from predators. I missed it at least.

Warbling vireos were the most common bird still active in the afternoon but this oriole was the only cooperative bird.


Cathy Carroll said...

Matt, as you know, I am certainly not an expert, but I think your skipper is a Peck's. Roger K. would be the one who could say one way or the other definitively. I sent him a photo with the same differential - Peck's or Hobomok. Mine was a Peck's.

Matt said...

I did in fact email Roger who agreed with it being Hobomok. I think the 4 times I looked through the skipper section I came up with a different possibility. There's a little stripe in the forewing at the leading edge of the brown spot in the post-median (?) area that's not as prominent in my pic as in the Kaufman pic but that I didn't really see in other candidates which was how I decided on it being a Hobo.