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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Vermiculations and a rippled trill

Yesterday was a "three tattler" day!  Previously I'd only seen one or two individuals at once, but I observed three Wandering Tattlers (Tringa incana) on 28 July 2012.  Most tattler sightings are of one or two individuals.  In The Birds of Sonoma County, there are only two other definite records of three birds.  [As far as I can tell, there haven't been sightings of more than three individuals at one time in Sonoma County.]

All of these photos are of one individual.  Note the dark barring on the underparts, sometimes described as vermiculations (i.e., marked by irregular or wavy lines).  Also visible are the large yellow feet (good for gripping rocks?).

Tattlers can have a very different profile depending on whether their neck is outstretched or pulled in.  In the photo below, look for the primary projection how far the tips of the primaries (outermost wing feathers) extend past the tail.

Here's a good view of the stout, straight bill and the relatively short yellowish legs. 

If you'd like to listen to a Wandering Tattler call, here's a recording I made on Bodega Head.  Among the waves, listen for the rippled trill call in this case, four notes sometimes written as ki-ree-ree-ree.  [The same call is heard three times.]

wandering tattler by nhbh

P.S.  There's more about tattlers in this post from 20 April 2012

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

very cool to see a tattler - i thought it was just a bird in the book that nobody ever really saw !!