These are photos of two of the less common shorebird species that migrate through the Massachusetts coast. The first is the Pectoral Sandpiper. It’s a bit larger than the more common “peeps” like Semipalmated Sandpipers. The size difference is obvious in the photos of a Pectoral flying with the Semipalms. Note the buffy breast and long drooping beak.
A bigger shorebird with an even longer beak is the Hudsonian Godwit. Four Godwits foraged and flew around the Hellcat area at the refuge. The bottom photo shows the size difference between a Godwit and a Dunlin. Dunlins are a little bigger than a Semipalmated Sandpiper so Godwits really tower over the little peeps. (“Peeps” is the name given to the three very similar looking small sandpiper species that are in mixed flocks: Semipalmated, Least and Western Sandpipers)
Two other birds in the vicinity: Green-winged Teal and Common Tern.
We are on the northernmost fringe of the winter range of the Dunlin and Teal so we may get an occasional sighting through the coming months. But all the other birds in these photographs will soon be gone for this year.