Monday, December 5, 2016

Dunlin or Curlew Sandpiper?

 Birding in early December at Port Charlotte (Florida) Beach Complex on Charlotte Harbor.  Found some "peeps" feeding on the shore.  Are these Dunlins (Calidris alpina), as I suspect?  Or....could they be Curlew Sandpipers (Calidris ferruginea) ?  Dunlins are not uncommon here, but Curlew Sandpipers certainly are.

 We checked out Sibley and Peterson Field Guides....very similar appearing birds.

Size comparison with 7.25" Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus.)

Curlew Sandpiper range map.  Seeing this bird on Florida's Gulf Coast would make it a rare stray!

 Here I don't see a supercillium, but maybe this is a bird just coming into non-breeding plumage?  And the legs are yellow, not black....maybe a Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla) but it's bigger than I would expect???

Dunlin winter range in Blue

Got to say I am unsure on this ID.....odds on favorite would be Dunlin!  What do you think, my birding friends?

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