Monday, October 29, 2012

Quiz #472 (2012-4-04) Solution

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Solution by Tony Leukering

[I apologize for the tardiness in getting the recent solutions posted, but I am currently catching up with a lot of writing projects after my return from Texas.]

Our backlit shorebird this week shows fairly strong contrast between white belly and brownish chest and a medium-length, perhaps droop-tipped, bill. These features may point some toward Pectoral Sandpiper. Unfortunately, anyone stopping analysis of the picture there would go astray, as the dark underwings and distinct black-and-white tail pattern certainly rule out that species. Yes, the underwings are actually dark; the underparts are shaded just as are the underparts and the white belly shows obvious and strong contrast with the dark
wings. Those features also rule out similar species, such as Sharp-tailed Sandpiper and Ruff. In fact, the dark underwings, alone, reduce our options to less than a handful: the two tattlers and Solitary and Wood sandpipers. The distinct tail pattern removes all but one of those.

I took this picture of a juvenile Solitary Sandpiper at Cape May Point S. P., Cape May Co., NJ, on 9 September 2011.

Incorrect species provided as answers:
Pectoral Sandpiper - 2
Wilson's Storm-Petrel - 1
Ruff - 2

Congratulations to the 15 of 20 respondents getting the quiz correct:
Margaret Smith
Donald Jones
Peter Wilkinson
Joshua Little
Ben Coulter
Tyler Bell
Pam Myers
Nathaniel Behl
Casey Ryan
Nick Komar
Robert McNab
Sean Walters
Margie Joy
Bryan Guarente
Richard Jeffers

Answer: Solitary Sandpiper