Date: 4/30/19 7:47 am
From: Wayne Hoffman <whoffman...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Clatsop Beach Piping Plover?
Hi, Lars - 

I have moderate experience with Piping Plovers.  With the viewing conditions you described, I think the legs of a Piping Plover would have screamed at you "Look at me!  Look at me first!."  I think that the two species look more different in life than in Field Guide illustrations.  Piping Plover looks like a leucistic Semipalmated Plover rather than like a Snowy with bright legs.

Here in the Wilmington NC area, Red-headed Woodpeckers have just shown up.  I am not sure where they wintered, but did not see any until this week, and now have found them in multiple places.  Yesterday I was at Carolina Beach State Park and met a woman with binoculars who was trying to get looks at some noisy and active woodpeckers.  She said "I think they are Red-headed or Red-bellied."  Just then one flew across an opening in front of us.  She asked, "Was that a Red-headed Woodpecker?"  I replied, "No, Red-bellied.  If it were Red-headed you would have seen the huge white wing patches."  Then it flew into a tree just above our heads and showed us all the field marks we could have wanted, including red belly.

On 4/30/2019 6:59:38 AM, Lars Norgren <larspernorgren...> wrote:
"When you hear galloping, think 'horses' not 'zebras'." Dr. Moore, OHSU School of Dentistry.   I identified 14 species of shorebird on Clatsop Beach between 2:30 and 4:30, one more between 4:30 and 6:30. What disturbs me about the Snowy Plover l reported in real time was its lack of stripes. No black on the forehead, no black on the upper chest. It was also extremely pale above, a good match for juvenile Piping Plover, a poorer match for immature Snowy Plover. I was busy posting the sighting, glancing at multiple birds around me. I never noted the leg color. If it had been yellow l would be somewhat confident it wasn't a Western Snowy Plover, our "horse" of the moment.
       I saw it at a distance of under 10m through 8x binocular. It was front lit, in stark contrast to so many afternoon Pacific beach birds. A foto on my smart phone probably could have zoomed up to provide useful details about bill and feet. Several of the world's experts on Snowy Plover read this list and should know better than l. Where in the molt cycle would last year's hatch of SNPL be now? How likely is a Piping Plover to be in juvenile or winter adult plumage on April 29?
Greater Yellowlegs 1
Marbled Godwit.      20
Short-billed Dowitcher 35
Dunlin.                       80
Western Sandpiper.  100
Least Sandpiper.        20
Sanderling.                  30
Red Knot.                     20
Whimbrel.                    40
Long-billed Curlew.     1
Ruddy Turnstone.        1
Semi-palmated Plover 10
Black-bellied Plover.     20
Pacific Golden Plover.   1
"snowy" plover.               1
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