Date: 3/30/18 3:30 pm
From: Yong Kong <yklitespeed...>
Subject: [JERSEYBI] Least Sandpiper at Brig- my pitfall on miss ID
Before I begin, thank you for much to Linda Stehlik for her kind words.

I am writing for those JBird members that actually get my tongue-n-cheek style post here. This is morning at Brig, I encountered about 50-strong dunlin flock just pass the dogleg. Shut the car off since I could be there for about 15 min or more. I shifted thru every dunlin as best as I could 3X. The result was the same. Very uneventful.

Then the flock took flight and landed again opposite direction from where I was parked. I moved on but only about 100 feet or so. I could not leave that dunlin flock. Put the car in reverse to chase the flock once more. Plan was shift thru the dunlin flock again until my face turned blue and the shorebird game was on. To my surprise, a smaller shorebird emerged within the dunlin flock.

Most of my view was from the camera view finder, and the immediate ID was either Semi or Least. It was overcast. But I could see the yellowish legs. But decided to go with the Semipalmated Sandpiper.

Reason ? There is no reason except I wanted that Calidris to go down as Semi, that was all. When one does not do ebird, there is no pressure to ID a bird correctly, just go with the *wish bird*

So I texted out to CMBO alert about my Semi find. My bubble did no last long as I received a text from TJ that the bird was a Least Sandpiper. Before his text I could clearly see those yellow legs on the Calidris as I was reviewing my photos. Today is my lucky day not because the unexpected discovery of the Least Sandpiper. I have already experienced the pitfalls of shorebird miss ID, so there would be no more shame come next month.

For those who want to make sure shorebird miss ID does not happen to you, I posted a few photos of the Least Sandpiper on my Flickr.

Yong Kong
Camden County

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