Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Willet or not?

I took the first two pictures below at the Great Marsh observation platform in the Mason Neck NWR. (The third pic is one I took of a willet in San Diego, CA in February for comparison.) They were out in the water a bit, at the extreme range of my 300mm lens. My first thought was "willet." They were larger than yellowlegs, which were running about near by but never cooperated by being in frame with the "willets." They were a uniform sort of buffy gray above, lighter underparts. Definitely larger and bulkier than the yellowlegs. I got good looks through my binocs and the deck mounted scope there. However, willets are rare at the NWR, although they have been seen there in the spring, so I'm willing to hear that they might be something else.

Willet in San Diego, CA for comparison.

So, willet? Or not?
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John said...

I think the last photo looks good for willet. I can't get any yellow out of the legs, and the mantle and tail seem too plainly marked for yellowlegs. But others may disagree.

Rob said...

You say there were yellowlegs nearby...which species?