A brief stop at Broughton Beach yesterday between meetings provided a nice assortment of peeps that helped me better understand the subtle differences in the general appearance of a small handful of shorebirds. Namely, BAIRD'S SANDPIPER, WESTERN SANDPIPER, SANDERLING, LEAST SANDPIPER, and SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER - the last of which I am embarrassed to say was a life bird for me even though it is a regularly occurring seasonal migrant throughout Oregon.
Please keep in mind that Peeps are very small birds - six to seven-and-half inches long.
I am hoping someone will invent a digital overlay that accurately presents the dimensions of the subject matter for a given focal length, range, and crop (aka zoom).
Largest of the peeps found today. Long horizontal posture, wings extending well beyond the tail.
Long drooping bill - dark legs . . .
Common along the coast, unusual inland - high contrast, "clean" looking, dark shoulder
Greenish-yellow legs, short thin bill
The term semipalmated is used to identify wading birds whose toes are webbed for part of their length. I found this bird among the others because of its short, stout, blunt-tipped bill.