Saturday, August 1, 2015

Snowy Plover in Clatsop County

Once again I wandered down to Clatsop County to escape the heat of Portland and to hunt for shorebirds.  It was foggy on the beach but I found the usual Western Sandpipers (mainly juvenile), Least Sandpipers, Sanderlings and Semipalmated Plovers.  I did see two Snowy Plover, my first for the Clatsop County beaches.  I thought I would post the photos for those that research and protect these little birds.

If you want to see another "beach" plover, check out my previous blog I posted at end of July "Where in the World".

I think the first three photos are of a hatch-year.  Fresh feathers and buff edges to coverts.

I think the next two are photos of adult female. Seems to have worn feathers and lack buff edging. Sexing these birds this time of year based on plumage is not always reliable.

Back to a hatch-year.  Not sure if this is same hatch-year as the bird above.  If not, then I saw three plover.

The adult with the hatch-year.

The juvenile Western Sandpipers were on the beach in force.  Clean neat feathers clearly show this to be a juvenile.  The rufous-edged upper scapulars are an easy spot as well.

The crouched down eating style of a Least Sandpiper.

After finding zilch on the river beach, I went to Parking Lot D to see if I could find any odd terns, tons of Caspian, lots of California Gulls and one Black-bellied Plover.  A flock of peeps flew in and landed across the water.  Before going on down blog, can you spot the Baird's?

This rather pale plover ( hatch-year Semipalmated) looked very long-winged to me. I could not get a real good look at it except with this photo. 

Crazy bright rufous on this Least.

This one looked larger than the rest and I could just make out the long wing tips past the tertials. Baird's Sandpiper. 

I deleted a section of my previous blog about feather tracts, I decided it was rather sloppy.  I hope to get photos of sandpipers with different feather tracts exposed on the wing.   Here are some wing shots I'll just throw out there.  See if you can figure out the tracts.

I decided Black Turnstones are a nice bird to show how the scapulars flip up to cover the wing. They are always stretching their wings.

I think this one is missing some primary coverts.

One of these days I'll repost these with the tracts correctly marked. My problem is figuring out where the lower scapulars end and the greater coverts begin.  And if the wing is messy with molt it is even tougher.

Heermann's Gulls are gradually losing their white heads.  

Thanks for visiting.

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