Spring Class 2010 #2

4-28-2010 Spring Class #2.

Featuring AV with Ryan Weise

Change PBJ to PF on the top of Ken’s molt and song handout for shorebirds.

Change PAJ to PA1 .

Breeding Am Golden Plover the white on the shoulder stops ath the breast, and is wider at the lower end, almost a white shoulder patch.  The wing projection is longer and more primary projection, to accommodate the longer migration.

Pacific Golden Plovers that nest in AK tend to have longer  wings than the Siberian birds, and so some of these have a wing projection nearly as long as the Am. GPs we see here.

Molt sequence in Am. GPs.  Arrive in WA by late april- early May.  Adults that come thru are in July- Early Sept.  Primaries are very worn, because they are not molted.  Do not molt primaries until in S. America.  Juveniles also do not have wing molt until in S America also.  They do molt their primaries in S. America.  So when they come back all Americans migrate north, juveniles included.   All have new fresh primaries  If a bird happens to be a non-breeding plumage you can tell it likely is a juvenile.

Pacific GPs juveniles can straggle down the coast.  Juveniles in wintering grounds do not molt their primaries.  You can tell any GP in spring that has worn primaries is a migrating Pacific GP young bird.  Most young Pac. GPs do not migrate.   Pacific GPs start their molt during incubation, and start their primary molt in AK with from 1-5 inner primaries, P1 àP5, then they suspend their molt, and finish the molt of the outer primaries on the wintering ground.  So look at the primaries to see if they are fresh or old.

The mantle of a Pac. GPs each feather has “paired golden spots”  and the American GP has only a single golden spot  is on each feather.  This gives the Pacific GP a brighter and more golden color to the mantle.

Snowy Plover: Dark legs and dark bills.  In sub adults the ends of the primaries are off color.

Semi-palmated Plover: common, easy, no discussion this class

Killdeer:  common, easy, no discussion this class

Black Oystercatcher:   easy, no discussion this class

Am. Avocet:  easy, no discussion this class

Long-necked Stilt:   easy, no discussion this class

Willet: western birds are darker and larger.

Greater Yellowlegs: Upright sandpiper with yellow legs and a long bill.  Usually greater yellowlegs are more brightly marked, have a longer primary projection. More active movement with feeding.

Solitary Sandpiper:  longer bill, striped tail, (dark stripe down the middle)  with barring on the tail, no wing stripe. Rare to uncommon in spring, uncommon (i.e. more common) in the fall in WA.   Best time is Early August to early Sept.  Usually on fresh water ponds or marshy areas.  Relaxed hold their bill out almost parallel.  Fly straight up and then come down or fly away.  3 noted call paseet-weet-weet.

Wandering Tattler:  loud call, dee-dee-dee-dee  usually seen alone, tend to be isolated.  Usually take off singly, and call when they take off.

Spotted sandpiper:  call faster, more like a trill.   Ponds, rivers.  Even seen at high elevation to 6000 feet.  Fly close to the water, fluttery wings, usually in pairs.

Whimbrel: shorter decurved bill, stripes on the head, shorter primary projection,  Usually barring on the flanks. coastal migrant in WA.

Long-biller curlew:  very long bill, no steaks on the crown, coastal migrant in the rest of the year,  as with other shorebirds, the female has the longer bill.

Marbled Godwits: Very rare in E WA, almost always coastal, in WA almost only in Gray’s Harbor and Willipa Harbor.  A lot of our Tokeland Godwits stay the summer, so apparently many are young birds that oversummer.

Bar-tailed Godwit: wider eyestripe behind the eye, grayer, usually in the fall, If seen in the spring adult male will be red underneath,

Ruddy Turnstone:  450K worldwide, many more on the east coast. In WA uncommon to fairly common in springtime, uncommon in fall.  Ruddys will feed in a wide variety of habitat, more so than black turnstones.

Black Turnstone:  80-95K in North America, 80% plus nest in a single river delta in AK.

Surfbird:  white band on tail, thick ploverlike bill.

Rock Sandpiper:  Shaped like a dunlin, breeding rufous over the head. Two-tone bill.

Red Knot:  In breeding plumage brick red breast, whitish edged feathers on back, light crown.  White belly.  Only 20K breed in AK.   Ours fly from S. Am. And have very specific staging areas.  Fly from S. America, stop and stage and fatten up for 2-3 weeks, and then go off to breeding grounds. Rare in the fall in WA.

Sanderling: whitest winter shorebird in WA.

Dunlin: bigger than western sandpiper.  Whole back, scapulars and coverts are red in spring, in fall don’t return in numbers until Oct. Prebasic molt on the breeding grounds, and return in basic or formative plumage, rarely see juveniles.

Semipalmated sandpiper:  rare in springtime.  Most likely in E WA in inland locations, less coastally.  More plentiful in fall in WA, mostly  juveniles.  Look for blunt short bill, and brownish plumage.  Hunt more visually, less probing, more looking up, see something, run off like a plover.

Western sandpiper: In juvenile red restricted to the scapulars.

Least Sandpiper:  short bill, slightly droopy,  winter plumage almost all darker and brownish black.   Yellowish legs.

White-rumped Sandpiper;  East coast bird, migrate thru the middle of  the country,

Baird’s sandpiper: a fall migrant

Pectoral Sandpiper:  again mostly fall,

Upland Sandpiper: nest again in E WA near Spokane.  Short wings, long tail projection past wings.’

Ruffs: a few spring adult records, most juveniles in fall.  Variable legs, yellow to orange.   Short bill.  Male much larger, male

Short-billed Dowicher:  Rufous underside, white belly. Usually LB has pinkish belly in spring.  Usually short billed has thicker base of the bill, and the top of the bill slopes gradually.  Tend to have flat backs when feeding.  Big flocks on salt water in spring are invariably short billed.  Small flocks on fresh water could be either.  Individual LBs can be mixed in a large SB flock.   3S’s of short billed, salt water, spotted on breast, short bill.  Covert molt in SB is irregular.

Our species is the Carinis subspecies.

Long-billed Dowicher:  Coverts dark centered with broad white tips in alt. plumage, so LB look brighter above in spring.  Coverts usually uniformly molted.   Wings shorter.  Shorter primary projection.

Stilt sandpiper:  long legs, droopy bill,

Wilson’s Snipe: next week

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