Saturday, September 26, 2020

Virginia Beach Sandwich Terns

 Still with a some back-logged pics from the summer trip to Virginia that I haven't posted.

Sandwich Tern is always a fun bird to see.  I don't think I've ever been at a place where they're the most common tern, and probably haven't seen them more than a handful of times in my life.

Honestly I thought at least a couple of them were Forster's with the naked eye; their flight was much more like a medium sized tern than something in the Caspian/Royal class.

Their feeding was more of a dip than a plunge, somewhat similar to my memory of Gull-billed Tern

Finally a bird that I think is a juvie Sandwich.  Young royals have yellow bills.  The bill looks too heavy for Forster's, and I've never seen a young Forster's start getting orange in the bill until the spring.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Plover comps

 It was a good morning for plovers, with 3 Black-bellied and a young Golden Plover all at Tiscornia.  They spent most of their time on South Pier, but eventually they were flushed by pier walkers enough to come land in nice morning light on the beach.

You can see the long primary projection in these pics.  Pacific Golden-plover apparently has much shorter primary projection, but good luck ruling out an American that's missing a couple feathers...
I like the shadow behind the bird.  The next one is the opposite with a reflection

It flicked its wings after bathing in the surf.  It lacks the black armpits of the Black-belly's (one of the the young Black-bellys flew by too, but I only got dorsal views in focus)

Next pic has a young Black-belly.  Its bill is a lot heavier than the Golden's, it has much less contrast between the cap and the rest of the face, and the underparts are a whole lot less brown.

The adult was a fun study too.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Fun juvie shorbs

 Not sure how I've gone 2 weeks without getting some pics up; there've been some decent birds along the pier.  Red Knot, Stilt Sandpiper, Buff-breasted Sand, and Black-bellied Plover have all been around.  While the Buffy and the Stilt Sand were very brief, the knot and the plover have been hanging out.

I finally caught the knot in good light yesterday.

They have a kind of dumpy silhouette, I'm a little surprised they're still in Calidris with all the peeps.

The young Black-bellied Plover has been around for a few days (though there may be a few).  In some lights it looks pretty buffy and I think was ebirded at least once yesterday as a Golden.

Black-bellied has a lot heavier bill (hard to see when it's on the other pier), much less of a pale eyestripe, and black armpits when it flies (impossible to see without seeing it fly).

Semi plovers are less of an ID quandary.
There were 3 on the pier this morning.

Finally a turnstone from last week...