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Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Calidris acuminata


eBird Checklist S38922190
Swan Creek Wetland--Cox Creek DMCF (closed Sat. and Sun.)
Anne Arundel, Maryland, United States
Search this location, Illustrated Checklist
Latitude and Longitude 39.1935, -76.5354 Map

Not specified
Not specified


Observation details

Found by Matt Hafner yesterday, re-found by Mike Burchett this morning. Molting adult. About the size of Pectoral Sandpiper but distinctly rounder bodied in all poses. Bill about the same length as Pectoral, slightly decurved. (Bill averages shorter for Sharp-tailed but I have photographed birds in Australia with even longer bills, so I think length is ok Legs dark greenish. Bill black with very small pale area at base. Cap was dark rufous brown, with sharply defined edge against pale supercilium behind eye. (But supercilium very weak.) Mantle, scapulars and tertials very dark brown, evenly fringed pale buff on most. A hint of more rufous color to the back in some light. Pair of weak pale gold tram lines down back. Breast heavily spotted. Markings stronger and larger on sides of breast, slightly weaker in center, and markings on lower breast blending more with white of belly. Dark markings continuing down flanks, just scattered spots on left side, but still a few sharp chevrons on right side, under wing. Heavier streaks on sides on undertail coverts at start of tail. Thinner, but still sharp, streaks and spots all across under-tail, see photo. ( I have a photo from Austraila that suggests this pattern, In flight, almost no wingstripe, dark rump and center of upper tail coverts contrasting with white sides of coverts, and dark tail. The supercilium was only poorly defined, and there was almost no eyering, perhaps just a hint at the top of the eye, so the identification as Sharp-tailed is based only on the underpart markings. The bird was always easy to re-find because it was the fattest bird in its size group, and the darkest.

Technical Information

Canon EOS 80D
Lens model
EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
Focal length
400 mm
Shutter speed
1/331 sec
Flash did not fire, auto

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