Thursday, October 23, 2008

GREATER, LESSER, COMMON, UNCOMMON???

There were a lot of people standing on the bridge that crosses the creek. Morning visitors. They all seem to be enjoying the topic of discussion at hand. A few were doing the talking, most, like me, were listening. "It's a Yellowlegs," says one, "but is it the Greater or the Lesser?" Well, I don't think I've ever seen a Yellowlegs before and if I did I didn't know what it was called. I don't believe there was a final consensus, just a lot of opinions and after having looked at my books and pictures online, my inexperienced opinion is that it is a Yellowlegs and it is the Greater. It looked to me to be about 14 inches in length, the Lesser I believe is suppose to be about 10 inches. I think I can also see that the bill is a little upturned. They say that the Greater's legs can be a yellowish orange but the legs of the Lesser are yellow and rarely orange. Well, I'm still not 100% sure though, so if you can help me out, that would be nice!
I wasn't able to get close to him, you know, to get that, one, really nice close up! I do have to say, though, that I loved watching him forage for food with those long toes and long bill. The markings on his wings and back were quite striking! He seemed very confident, as he waded through a large flock of Canadian geese and Mallards.
He certainly kept very busy with getting lunch....
and after lunch there was a fast wade with a friend...actually I put in this picture of the Killdeer thinking it was a good comparison for size.
...and then as we all know, after exercise one needs a good stretch...a one-leg wing stretch!
Such a cute face, but oh so hard to find in all those colors as he walked the shoreline. He was so well camouflaged that I had to use my binoculars a few times to locate him because he had stopped moving!!
Now for the Common (Wilson?) Snipe?? When I came upon this little guy, I was wishing for that small group of people that I had seen in the morning because I had heard or read (can't remember which one) that it was quite uncommon to see a Common Snipe in S.E. Pa. at this time of the year?? As you can see the sun was out in full force and the fall colors fell onto the water making it a little difficult for my camera to get around that glare and produce a more detailed photo.

It was a little better once he moved back into the shade. I have to say it was a lot of fun for me to find two birds that I am not very familiar with and I hope if you have information about them you can share, that you will!

7 comments:

Bird Girl said...

Whatever the bird - you captured it beautifully! I'm lousy with the shore birds. When I can't ID a bird - I post to the PA Bird List and their experts always come through with a positive ID.
I just LOVE the picture of the snipe with the fall colors in the water - just think if you had been able to get a good clear shot - that would have been stunning with the reflection and color...bummer! But you sure did get a lot of nice shots!
Now...I'm gonna add another word to your title - Wilson's Snipe. I had three in my front yard in March - never saw one in my life and I'm so stupid I thought they were woodcock (imagine me admitting that ;-) haha.
Here is a link to my old post just for fun.
http://mybirdtales.blogspot.com/search?q=wilson%27s+snipe

Tina said...

Thanks BG for you suggestion of a Wilson Snipe, I did put that in my post. I will check out the PA Bird List and also visit your old post. It was a bummer not to get a better picture of the snipe, that afternoon sun is pretty harsh sometimes when one is around water!! Glad you stopped by, I appreciate your input!:)

Shellmo said...

The greater or lesser (not sure which either) was captured wonderfully! i love seeing their long legs!

ratmammy said...

these are great photos! lovely blog.

Rose said...

Great captures all but I love the one of the snipe with fall reflections in the water.

Larry said...

Hi Tina, great shots of all the birds! I must say I like the colors in the Common Snipe photo, just beautiful. As for the Yellowlegs, I would agree with you that it is Greater Yellowlegs due to the fact that you took the comparison photo with the Killdeer and it is obviously larger. Plus you can see the longer, upturned bill. It's always a great idea to take a photo so we can check later on a bird of question isn't it? The photo is always better than my memory anyway.

Tina said...

ok here's the scoop! the first bird is a Greater Yellowlegs and the second mystery bird is a Wilson or Common Snipe. I was informed that the Wilson was changed to a Common.
That's their story and they are sticken to it!!

would like to hear your thoughts..