Sunday 23 September 2012

More from Ubatuba

It seems just because 'Macarico' no longer resides in Ubatuba the waders haven't been put off visiting.

Jeremy Minns wrote to us today to say that he had three American Golden Plovers on Praia Dura along with the resident Southern Lapwings. Also present was a single White-rumped Sandpiper.
American Golden Plover: Ubatuba October 2010
I think that Pluvialis plovers are really attractive birds, even when not in summer garb, the American version especially with its long wings which give it an elegant attenuated shape.
American Golden Plover: Paraty November 2011

Single Calidris sandpipers can often be a nightmare to identify, just look at the debate with the recent Semipalmated/Western Sandpiper in the UK. However, White-rumped should be fairly straightforward even on its own, if seen in flight the white upper tail coverts (not rump) are a give away. A good close view of the bill should reveal a brown patch at the base of the lower mandible, but this isn't always visible. 

White-rumped Sandpiper, brown base to lower mandible
just about visible in this shot: Ubatuba October 2010
Like the American Golden Plover it has long wings giving a very pointed back end. The confusion species here being Baird's, but they are browner, have straighter bill (only very slightly decurved on the lower mandible in White-rumped) and clear unmarked flanks which are usually streaked in White-rumped.

Classic juvenile/1st winter White-rumped sandpiper. Note
some remaining rufous scapulars, slightly decurved bill with
a discernible brown patch at the base of the lower mandible,
long wings extending well past the tail tip and the streaked
flanks, lovely bird: Ubatuba October 2010
A good haul of elegant waders, good to know life goes on... thanks Jeremy.

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