An Aberrant Semipalmated (apparently) Sandpiper

South Beach, Chatham, Massachusetts - 16 July 2006

On 16 July 2006, Vernon Laux, Bill Loughran, and I found an odd peep on South Beach in Chatham, MA, that apparently was an aberrant Semipalmated Sandpiper.  Size and structure, both of body and bill, seemed within the range of Semipalmated, though it appeared a tad larger than those Semipalmateds seen in close proximity.  However, the legs were dull yellowish, the belly and flanks were marked with conspicuous, though diffuse black spots, there were thick, dark streaks on the undertail coverts, the dorsal coloration was very dark, as were the ear coverts and crown, which created a more prominent supercilium.

These 4 images were digiscoped by Vernon Laux
SESAoddSBch071606Laux3s.JPG (90525 bytes) SESAoddSBch071606Laux2s.JPG (93067 bytes) SESAoddSBch071606Laux1s.JPG (93649 bytes) SESAoddSBch071606Laux1ss.jpg (96405 bytes)

These 3 images were taken by Blair Nikula with a Canon 20D and 100-400mm IS lens
SESAoddSBch071606a1s.jpg (89653 bytes)
SESAoddSBch071606a1ss.jpg (87326 bytes) SESAoddSBch071606a2s.jpg (103424 bytes)

 

Somewhat remarkably (given the thousands of birds present), Nikula rediscovered this same (or one very similar) bird a year later in the same location.  The following pictures were digiscoped on 26 July 2007.
SESAoddSBch072607a15s.jpg (93338 bytes) SESAoddSBch072607a9s.jpg (90113 bytes)