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Friday, August 3, 2012

Honsby Bend: A Quartet of Migrating Sandpipers and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Early August and shorebirds are already on the move. A quick visit to central Texas afforded the opportunity to observe 4 of them:

Seen here are Spotted, Least, Semi-palmated and Pectoral sandpipers. The least and semi's are distinguishable by the color of their legs and all of them overwinter in the US. The Pectoral [lower right corner], however, is only a passage migrant. It neither breeds nor overwinters in the US. Favoring the extreme northern reaches of the continent for their breeding grounds, the Pectoral Sandpiper then travels thousands of miles to the south to winter in South America.

This medium-sized calidrid is shown in breeding plumage with the distinct separation of the streaking on its breast.
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 Hornsby Bend, where these shorebirds were observed, is a productive venue for anyone in the Austin area. On another visit, this time in October of 2010, the following additional species were seen:

Green-winged Teal:

Northern Shoveler:

 Ruddy Duck:

 Savannah Sparrow:

 Scissor-tailed Flycatcher:

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