Western Sandpiper at Presqu'ile Provincial Park

This Westernn Sandpiper was discovered in the flock of peeps at Owen Point. It's molting from juvenile to first winter (formative plumage). It already has grey winter scapulars and other feathers on the upperparts. Its juvenile coverts and other juvenile feathers are quite worn. The molt of Western Sandpipers into first winter (formative) plumage is ahead of that of Semipalmated Sandpipers. Found by Jon Ruddy on 26 September 2018.


Slightly larger than Semipalmated Sandpiper (right), the Western Sandpiper (left) stood out by the length and tapered shape of the bill, its much greyer/paler plumage, and contrasting wider rufous-fringed scapulars. 26 August 2018.


Yes! Both Western and Semipalmated Sandpipers have semipalmations or partial webbing between the middle and outer toes. Birds of North America on-line (2014) says: "Legs and Feet: Black, sometimes tinged greenish or brownish; substantial webbing between the toes, particularly between the middle and outer toe." Presqu'ile Provincial Park on Lake Ontario on 26 August 2018.


Western Sandpiper - second bird from left - with Semipalmated Sandpipers at Owen Point, Presqu'ile. The algae is perfect for shorebirds. 26 August 2018.

VIDEO: Presqu'ile Shorebirds includes Western Sandpiper


Link to Presqu'ile Shorebirds on 26 August 2018