Jamie Wells took this picture of a pectoral sandpiper along the Ouse Valley Way on our neighbour's new scrapes that were created under the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme this summer. What a find! Of course I marched up there for a look, but I think it has gone. I did see an osprey though, from the Visitors' Centre window!
In the USA I saw ospreys every day but found myself confused by small waders or "peeps". Mostly I took photos of them and sorted them out afterwards, sometimes wrongly. Jamie would have done much better.
They don't have redshanks or greenshanks in Maine; instead they have greater yellow-legs and lesser yellow-legs. The best way to separate them is by the call. The greater goes "Tiu Tiu Tiu" always in threes and the lesser always calls in twos, so that's how I know this picture is of a greater yellow-legs. It was on the mud just below our summer home.
The most common is the semi-palmated plover but I was at a site where endangered piping plovers breed in summer. So which one is this? My verdict is semi-palmated because it is not bleached looking. It was very tame, like so many of the American waders.
note the yellow legs.
I recently posted a picture of a semi-palmated sandpiper only to realise that it had black legs. I had been watching one bird and photographed another which was a least sandpiper.
|Least sandpiper, with black legs.|
("Semi-palmated" means "partly webbed"; quite a few waders can swim but most do not have any webbing on their feet.)