A confirmation and another confusion
Outdoor Ontario

A confirmation and another confusion

Simcoe

  • Board Member
  • ****
    • Posts: 30
I was in the Kingston area and saw a new (to me) shorebird (3 individuals). I keyed the ID and came to Baird's sandpiper: buffy breastband, "scaly" back, black bill and legs (I have a couple of dozen photos--none shows any red in the bill).  Baird's are rare enough (the last report on Wolfe Island in ebird was in 2005), and the photos in ebird show birds that are lighter than the ones I saw. I'd appreciate an expert's opinion.
[/size]
[/size]And just to throw in another confusion, I saw a duck with a prominent yellow eye. The overall confirmation of the bird is not like either Goldeneye, or either Scaup--this looks more like a brown Mallard. I don't know where to turn.


Shortsighted

  • Old Timer
  • *****
    • Posts: 1896
The first peep looks like a Least SP to me. The legs are not really black. I checked the image after processing it and the legs are buff, brownish or dirty yellow, sort of like my shower stall. The bill is thin and slightly down-curved. Least SPs can be quite dark on their back and side but the bellow is off-white. They may also have a breast band.




Baird's juvenile




Least SP
« Last Edit: August 25, 2021, 06:14:37 pm by Shortsighted »


Simcoe

  • Board Member
  • ****
    • Posts: 30
Thanks. I can see the thin curved bill.  Something I didn't know to look for.


Somehow my original inquiry got truncated.  The duck is something else I haven't seen before and has me confused. It has the bright yellow eye but doesn't seem to be right in any other way for either of Goldeneyes or Scaups.


Shortsighted

  • Old Timer
  • *****
    • Posts: 1896
Body shape resembles a Scaup and its confusing features might suggest an immature duck prone to silly behavior. The bill miay have a dark tip but it's hard to say for sure on your photo. The back and sides of an immature duck would look more like a female than a male.The key point is its location. Lesser scaup often visit inland lakes and ponds, while Greater Scaup prefer large bodies of water such as Lake Ontario. By the way, nice water level technique. Nice to see that you made an effort to capture the shot. Where was the shot taken?

« Last Edit: August 28, 2021, 04:35:42 pm by Shortsighted »


Simcoe

  • Board Member
  • ****
    • Posts: 30

I have 3 photos; a black tip on the bill isn't clear in any of them.  Is the absence of any sign of white at the base of the bill an issue?  Your photo shows at least a bit of a smudge.


The shot was in the channel between Wolfe and Simcoe islands (Kingston area) from my kayak.  Simcoe was where I started trying to be systematic about my birding, and the only place I did it for a while. I have been kayaking around the island for years on my occasional visits. There is a lot of private frontage on all the islands and little access to potentially good sites--the kayak is the way to go. Plus, most birds don't seem distressed by it. It is just hard to get stable enough for photos (I'm using a Canon SX70).


Thanks for your help.