Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Baird's and Bonaparte's aren't Sabine's

A Sabine's Gull was seen yesterday for about an hour or so about 5 miles north of the BBC field trip and 10 miles south of where we were sitting on the end of the pier.  It was a muggy day and nothing was moving around.  But, word of the bird didn't get out until the evening, leaving one of my biggest nemesis and most desired birds firmly anchored its status quo.

I walked the section of beach where it was seen yesterday under much different weather conditions, I didn't really expect to see it.  I didn't.  At times the mist and fog were making it really difficult to see and I was about 15 feet from this Baird's before I saw it as it flushed.  Its flight call sounds like a Sanderling giving the call through clenched teeth.  I found the bird a little further up the beach at Tanner's Creek.

The biggest differences between it and Semipalmated Sandpiper (below from Tiscornia today) are structural:  a longer bill, longer neck, and primaries that extend beyond the tail.  They have much more of a scaled look at distance than the Semi's do though you wouldn't know that due to the distance differences between the two pics.
The semi's shape is a little off hunched into a north wind.

The Sabine's was with Bonaparte's.  I saw 4 Bonaparte's along the Warren Dunes - Weko stretch and we had a few yesterday go by Tiscornia.
Above is a juvenile, below an adult from a few days ago.

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