Date: 7/29/17 4:01 pm From: matt V. <fickity...> Subject: [AZNMbirds] Yuma, AZ Shorebirds Saturday
Greetings! This morning at 6:30 AM, I believe I discovered a alternate Short-billed Dowitcher in the northwest field at the terminus of Avenue 3e in Yuma, Arizona. My attention was drawn to this bird because of the plumage: mostly alternate with significant moult noticed in the wings. The bird was closely associating with two Long-billed Dowitchers. In contrast to the two brick red LBDO, the SBDO was more muted/dull yellow-brown in plumage, with lots of speckles (not bars) on the belly and flanks. When feeding, the bulky LBDO had a humped appearance, while the slimmer SBDO mainatned a straight back. I also watched as the two LBDO were aggressive, and snipped at the SBDO and drove it away a few times.
Face on, the SBDO seemed to have a noticeably shorter bill, and white belly. A great deal of wide, white areas could be discerned in the tail, and the black barring on the tail was quite narrow. I obtained images both distant and close up. When field workers arrived to work the adjacent field, the trio flew off. In flight, the LBDO gave a single keek! call, while the bird in question uttered a series of staccato tu-tu-tu-tu! calls.
I realize SBDO is quite rare here in Yuma. I will be submitting images to AZFO, and Dowitcher ID folks are welcome to receive copies of images for comment and feedback. Other species present: 1 juv and 1 adult SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, 1 SNOWY PLOVER, Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs, Wilson's Phalarope, Western, Least and Baird's Sandpipers, and Semipalmated Plover.
The Ave 3E fields have hosted 23(!!!) species of Shorebirds since July 5th, 2017. Alas, today is the end... The last of the water in the NW field has dried this afternoon, and a wonderful crop of head lettuce is planned according to the friendly ag staff who graciously allowed us access to their patch for the last three weeks. Here's to more flooding to combat soil fungus next year!