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Gray-tailed Tattler

Tringa brevipes


Earl Johnson
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eBird Checklist S38648208
Matinicus Rock
Knox, Maine, United States
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Latitude and Longitude 43.787, -68.8527 Map

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Observation details

Was doing invasive plant control on the island when I heard a 2-sylablle shorebird call unlike any I've been hearing around the island lately. Sounded to me like a golden plover so I grabbed my camera and took some (terrible) photos of the bird flying away. Looking at the photos it was clear the bird wasn't any type of plover and nothing in my (eastern only) field guide was a slam dunk. Sent a tentative (and wrong) id and a couple of photos over to my friends Keenan Yakola and Isabel Brofsky on nearby Seal Island NWR. Keenan promptly called back and told me to check out the Tattlers in a field guide. After hanging up I listened to the calls of both species and matched what I heard to the "tuu-eet" call of the Gray-tailed Tattler rather than any of the vocalizations I could find for Wandering Tattler. After the fact see that Sibley says in the rare shorebirds section that the call of this bird is a "clear, slurred whistle like a Pacific Golden Plover." Veeeery interesting. Only got the one quick flyby and 2 calls and the bird kept moving south. Poor photos uploaded with minor adjustments for exposure. RAW files are available if necessary.

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