2017-08-17&18 Antelope Island Phalaropes

Red-Necked Phalarope

The stars of the day were the phalaropes, when they picked up and flew in mass, wheeling and dipping in unison, it was breathtaking. I tried to capture images, but these fall far short of the impact of the spectacle in person. From about 50 yards offshore out to 300 yards, the phalarope flotilla stretched east and west as far as the eye could see.

The pattern on the top of the wings rules out Wilson’s Phalaropes, and Red Phalaropes are mostly pelagic when not on the breeding grounds. Thus I have named these birds Red-Necked Phalaropes, though I saw yellow legs on some of the birds, so Wilson’s were present. Birds with the duller gray backs when at rest on the water are adult Red-Necks, where birds with bolder contrasting patterns are juveniles.

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