Inspired and intrigued by Angus’ comments earlier in the week and Shai’s well 
crafted e-mail, I went in search for any checklists with images and or 
descriptions of the bird that  caused some confusion as to its identification.

One checklist in particular had decent enough images that no doubt to me showed 
a Sanderling. Shorebirds can be tricky there is always going to be that one 
bird that might be quite difficult to identify.

Cheers,

--------
"I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of 
others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence." ~ Frederick 
Douglass

風 Swift as the wind
林 Quiet as the forest
火 Conquer like the fire
山 Steady as the mountain
Sun Tzu  The Art of War

> (\__/)
> (= '.'=)                                            
> (") _ (")                                     
> Sent from somewhere in the field using my mobile device! 

Andrew Baksh
www.birdingdude.blogspot.com

> On Jul 8, 2019, at 10:03 PM, Shaibal Mitra <shaibal.mi...@csi.cuny.edu> wrote:
> 
> It seems that in this age of hyper-connectivity, false information travels 
> more easily than true. Whereas the good-news story of a Baird's Sandpiper at 
> Nickerson Beach, Nassau County, Long Island, propagated quickly and 
> decisively, the uncomfortable awareness that the bird in question was 
> actually a Sanderling is spreading too slowly.
> 
> Conflicting descriptions aside, photos in the various checklists show an 
> adult Calidris sandpiper with a robust bill, boldly patterned back feathers 
> with extensive rufous color in the interior of each feather, warm color on 
> the face and bib, and boldly pale-edged coverts and tertials. All of these 
> are characteristic of Sanderlings, which furthermore also have long wings 
> that extend beyond the tertials when folded.
> 
> Note that this is early July and that juveniles of Arctic-breeding shorebirds 
> will not reach us for several weeks. Thus, a Baird's Sandpiper at this date 
> would be an adult (very rare), not a scaly-backed juvenile.
> 
> Lone shorebirds are difficult to identify, and the grassy habitat chosen by 
> this individual was admittedly atypical for a Sanderling, so an error is 
> understandable. But it has been two days, so I would have thought that the 
> gears of the social media mill would have mulled this grist by now.
> 
> Distinguishing rare birds requires thorough familiarity with the common 
> species. An identification article in the most recent Birding magazine 
> emphasizes this point but unfortunately features a photo that confuses two of 
> the most common species (yes, one is Sanderling)! I've pointed this out to 
> about a dozen active birders, none of whom was aware of the gaffe. Is it only 
> good news that goes viral nowadays?
> 
> Shai Mitra
> Bay Shore
> 
> 
> --
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> 
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> 
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