I spent some quality time recently with a flock of Semipalmated Sandpipers at Big Egg Marsh in my home borough of Queens, the same spot I enjoyed the company of some confiding Least SandpipersĀ last week. I was mostly trying to get decent flight shots of flocks of the small sandpipers whenever they flushed from feeding on Horseshoe Crab eggs. It’s always nice to stand on the shore and watch hordes of birds zip past though the species diversity left a little bit to be desired.

It was only once I got home and started making my way through the pile of images I had taken that I discovered that the flocks of Semipalmated Sandpipers weren’t as monolithic as I had thought. That’s right, the picture above features a White-rumped Sandpiper slumming with the semipalms. Can you find it? No? I’ll make it easier with a heavily cropped shot…

I never would have noticed the white-rump if it weren’t for the fact that I took a whole big bunch of pictures. It makes me wonder how many other goodies have slipped past me incognito in flocks of common birds.

Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.