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Spotting

Habitat:

Small desert pond

Notes:

I saw this odd shorebird after the killdeer and least sandpiper had departed. It looked as if it were larger than the Least Sandpiper. I did not realize that I had photographed an unusual species until after I got home from the outing. It searched for food along the muddy shore of the pond. The bill looks intermediate between Western and Least Sandpiper. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions for this mystery bird.

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5 Comments

Desmond.E.S.O
Desmond.E.S.O 4 years ago

You're Welcome!

JoshuaGSmith
JoshuaGSmith 4 years ago

Thanks Des! Semipalmated Sandpipers pass through Arizona during migration in fall.

Desmond.E.S.O
Desmond.E.S.O 4 years ago

Least Sandpiper!... Btw, I am pretty sure that semipalmated sandpipers live in Northern Canada and Alaska.

JoshuaGSmith
JoshuaGSmith 4 years ago

Hi Malcolm! Thank you for your suggestion. Your's makes sense. Semipalmated are typically rare in my county during fall migration, and virtually nonexistent in December. a top birder in the county also commented on this bird via eBird. He thinks it's a Least. My camera is a cheap Fujifilm model, so an upgrade may be in the future! I hadn't heard of RAW file formats before, thank you for sharing that. I will see if I can't set that up on my own camera.

Bill colour is confusing, dark in pic 1 and pale in pic 2, for length I would go for Semipalmated if they are likely to pass through on passage.
Don't know what sort of camera you have but even some hi-ends have difficulty with accurate focussing at high zooms and long distances, some users preferring to use manual focus. A good solid tripod can be a great help but heavy to carry around.
Cameras which only save in jpg lose a lot of quality in the conversion process which cannot be recovered, especially on the small detail of a distant bird. I now use RAW only and get much better quality but need a lot more time to process manually. IS works with camera shake but not with movement.

JoshuaGSmith
Spotted by
JoshuaGSmith

Spotted on Dec 12, 2015
Submitted on Dec 12, 2015

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