We took a vacation in Nova Scotia in early August and I spent some time ambling along Crescent Beach near LaHave Island. One morning, as I walked along the salt marsh side of the causeway, a small bird flew sharply in and landed unexpectedly close to me on the gravel and sand. Its bright plumage was striking and its greenish yellow legs were clean and easy to see. I was reasonably confident that I was looking at a young Least Sandpiper.
What Sandpiper is Smaller than a Semipalmated Plover?
I know that’s a silly question because if you already know what a Semipalmated Plover looks like you probably also know the Least Sandpiper is aptly named. These are very small birds, only 5-6” (13-15 cm) long. That’s basically the same size as a Black-capped Chickadee.
What Do the Adult Least Sandpipers Look Like?
Now that’s a very good question. I like a question that shows thought. Next question please.
OK, I’ll be honest. I took hundreds of photos of various shore birds on that trip and I am having a difficult time sorting out which is who. The juvenile Least Sandpipers are fairly easy to spot but the others are more challenging. When I’m sure who’s who I’ll try to show some photos of adult Leasts; for now I can only safely show these “lesser” Leasts.
Have you seen one of these “world’s smallest sandpipers?” Please share your sighting with a comment.