All the shorebird roosts that we monitor and count present challenges but one of the most challenging is the one we call the Airport Roost. It is a sandbank with mangroves growing on both sides of it. I have kayaked in to the side closest to the land but I have never managed to get out there without disturbing some of the birds into flying off. On the other side you must sit in the kayak and count from there. You can come in close enough to see the birds fairly clearly.
However, Terek Sandpipers and Grey-tailed Tattlers use this roost. They roost on the sand, on exposed mangrove roots and in the open branches depending on the tide height. Terek Sandpipers and Grey-tailed Tattlers are easy to distinguish if they have their heads up - the Terek Sandpiper has a bill that turns up slightly and the Grey-tailed Tattler has a straight bill. There is a also a difference in the color around the eye. When they are roosting with their heads tucked under their wings it is much more difficult. The Terek Sandpiper has darker orange colored legs, but this is hard to see at a distance with only binoculars. In this photo two Grey-tailed Tattlers have their heads up. There is a Terek Sandpiper on the right of the photo - and the others I am not sure of!
Now, spot the different bird in this photo!
There is a Pacific Golden Plover on the left of the photo. This is the only time I have seen a Pacific Golden Plover roosting in a tree. There were other Pacific Golden Plovers there as well but they were all on the sand.
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