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Michael Todd | profile | all galleries >> Ruff day at Reelfoot tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Ruff day at Reelfoot

The surprise of the day was this Ruff feeding in a flooded field, in the area known as the 'Phillipy Pits'. This area is famous in TN for shorebirds, and this Ruff doesn't hurt the reputation any!

Hopefully it will stay and be enjoyed by others, as it really put on a good show for Bud and Alice Johnson, Nancy Moore, and myself.

Initially the overall female like plumage, and lack of any ruff, and my limited experience with the species, fooled me into thinking this bird was a Reeve. The bird is too big for a Reeve though, and the amount of orange on the bill is wrong as well. Spring records are usually Reeves though, which I had in the back of my mind, though early spring records (March) are usually of males coming through.

This bird looks to be molting OUT of breeding plumage, so conceivably, could be headed south already. Or, it's a 1st-spring bird still coming into plumage. Now, after more study, it looks like this bird is indeed just beginning to acquire the ruff. Jeff got up there and had the bird right on top of him, and it looks like there are white and red pin feathers coming in for the ruff. Hopefully it will stay around long enough to get a bit of a ruff!
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