Date of this Version
"Notes on Bird Sightings in Nebraska," from Nebraska Bird Review (June 1994) 62(2).
Ruff and Godwits. On April 19, 1994, I discovered a red-phased Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) in alternate plumage at the Sacramento Wildlife Management Area in Phelps County. It was feeding with a flock of Hudsonian Godwits (Limosa haemastica) and Marbled Godwits (Limosa fedoa) in a flooded marshy area. The Ruff was easily recognized and required little effort to identify. I observed and photographed it for about one hour in the early evening, using a Canon AE-1 and my Kowa TSN-4 with a 1200 mm photo attachment as a lens. I was unable to locate it the following morning. Several photographs have been sent to the Records Committee.
Snowy Plover and Other Plovers. On May 2, 1994, I found a Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) at the Funk Marsh Waterfowl Production Area in Phelps County. It was on a mud flat with 16 semipalmated Plovers (Charadrius semipalmatus) and a single Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus), as well as a variety of sandpipers. The Snowy Plover was pale on the upperparts and white on the underparts. The bill was black and the legs appeared to be a darkslate color. The bird had a blackish breast band, which was limited to the side of the breast, and a dark area behind the eye. It possessed the typical Charadrius feature of a blackish area at the front of the crown.
The only species that could possibly be confused with a Snowy Plover would be the Piping Plover. Breeding male and female Piping Plovers were eliminated from consideration because this bird had dark legs and bill, a dark area behind the eye, and was smaller in size than the Piping Plover. Non-breeding Piping Plovers have dark legs and bill but lack any darker plumage patterns.
Photographs of the Snowy Plover will be sent to the Records Committee.