[Tweeters] Dowitchers near Carnation

Birder1944 at aol.com Birder1944 at aol.com
Mon May 5 14:43:25 PDT 2014

Three dowitchers were in the flooded field just north of Sikes Lake, near
Carnation, on the west side of 284th Ave NE this morning. I know that
dowitcher identification is difficult, but these birds are approaching breeding
plumage, which makes it easier, I think. I tried to get them to call, but
couldn’t do so, so now I’m trying to identify them by my pictures.
I played the Short-billed Dowitcher call several times, and they ignored
it and kept on feeding. I played the Long-billed call and the first two
times I did so, all three of them stopped feeding immediately and stood
completely still for at least 30 seconds before resuming feeding.
I notice that the wings don't seem to quite reach the tail, and my field
guide says that in the subspecies of Short-billed Dowitcher that migrates up
and down the West Coast, the wings extend farther back than the tail. The
patterns on the feathers on the back seem more consistent with the
description of Long-billed, too. One of them seems to be developing distinct
barring on the upper breast and flanks, and that also seems to indicate
Long-billed to me. I'm going with Long-billed for now, but I'm very open to any
other ideas.
I'd appreciate any opinions, either agreeing with me or disagreeing. It
seems like a good opportunity for me to learn something.
Here is a link to three of my pictures:
There were also at least 13 Least Sandpipers and one Killdeer in the same
field. I didn't see any Semipalmated Plovers, as had been reported
Barry Brugman
Kirkland, WA

More information about the Tweeters mailing list