Fall Shorebirds of Seapoint
• Pectoral Sandpiper
• Purple Sandpiper
• Ruddy Turnstone
• Black-bellied Plover
• Greater Yellowlegs
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Baird's Sandpiper (Calidris bairdii)
Baird's Sandpipers are a rarity on the East Coast, from the Canadian Arctic they migrate down the Mssissippi rather than the Atlantic flyway. However they are not unheard of along the Atlantic and a number of them are usually spotted every year. In 2009 I spotted one juvenile at Seapoint. Note the overall golden color, the extra long wings extending beyond the tail, and the streaked golden breast and flanks.
Juvenile Baird's Sandpipers are most likely to be confused with juvenile Semipalmated Sandpipers which have similar but paler gold and white coloration as well as being smaller. The first things you might are their relative sizes with the Baird's being a good inch larger, and the darker and more prominently streaked breast, extra long wingtips extending beyond the tail. Less noticeable are the breast streaks extending into the flanks.
A little larger than a Baird's is the juvenile Sanderling on the right. Juvee Sanderlings do have a hint of gold around the head and breast, but are more black and white overall, and lack the finely streaked breast of the Baird's which stands out when seeing the bird from the front.
I never did get any photos of this bird in flight. Maybe next year along with an adult if I'm lucky.
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