An overwintering Short-billed Dowitcher in Massachusetts

West Harwich, Massachusetts - 31 December 2011 - 6(+) March, 2012

Blair Nikula

The rather poor quality images below are of a Short-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus griseus) that overwintered, in the company of a Long-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus scolopaceus) in West Harwich, Massachusetts from late December 2011 through early (at least) March 2012. This represents the first winter record of this species in the state (or New England); there are two previous December reports (neither documented) of this species in Massachusetts, both from Martha's Vineyard, the latest on 15 December 2005.

All images were taken with a Canon 7D and a 100-400 IS lens and are copyright 2012, Blair Nikula. Rick Heil got much better photos, including some video, that can be viewed (along with his cogent analysis of the features distinguishing the two species in basic plumage) here.

In the image below, the Short-billed Dowitcher is on the left, the Long-billed on the right.

In this image, the Long-billed is on the left; note the feet extending farther beyond the darker tail.

The final four images are of the Short-billed Dowitcher in flight.