Sunday, July 24, 2016

Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos) - 07Oct2015 & 21Jul2016

The Pectoral Sandpiper is a fairly common bird during migration in NC but for whatever reason I do not see them much so I do study them when I get a chance.  Most of them seem to bypass the coast as they seem to prefer fresh water habitats.

This first picture is from Falls Lake near Raleigh, NC.

The bird pictured below was one of the outliers and I found it on the North end of Wrightsville Beach.  Or rather someone else found Pectorals on the beach a couple days in a row and so I went in search.

This bird was still in breeding plumage with a very dark delineation on the breast which made ID easy.  The much more rare Sharp-tailed Sandpiper is the only similar bird possible in this area and it does not have such a stark delineation on the breast.

Yellow/orange bill and yellow legs are good field marks for this bird.

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