Spotted Sandpiper


I’ve seen Spotted Sandpipers several times on the docks and bulkheads along Barron River.

It’s hard to work with the ugliness of docks, and I finally felt lucky with this photogenic opportunity.


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Spotted Sandpiper


The Spotted Sandpiper’s name insinuates it has spots, but where are they?

The above Spotted Sandpiper is in nonbreeding plumage, so it lacks its spots.

For comparison, below is a Spotted Sandpiper in breeding plumage I took last Spring.


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Spotted Sandpiper (breeding plumage)



40 thoughts on “Spotted Sandpiper

  1. You really are a good spotter, glad they finally were cooperating by standing in more picturesque settings!

  2. Thanks for these pictures, both breeding and non-breeding. I believe we had a spotted sandpiper in our cove for a short time last year, as it was migrating through. Your pictures help confirm what I saw.

  3. It is a real treat to have the two morphs of the spotted sandpiper set right before us in these gorgeous photos, Donna. They occur on the west coast in their nonbreeding plumage, and we never see the spots. I was just sitting here wondering if I have ever seen the spots on a spotted sandpiper, and I don’t think I have. They are so beautiful with their spots. Many thanks.

    • I love those spots too! The Spotted Sandpiper breeds around the Chesapeake Bay, almost the furthest they go on the East coast, so I’ve been fortunate to see them and as well as migrants a good part of the year when home.

  4. Beautiful pictures, Donna. You found the spots! The one time I went to Australia, they are called “Common” instead of “Spotted” there and I still have that stuck in my brain whenever I see one. I should try to find more shorebirds this year… thanks for inspiring the thought!

    • Thank you, Lisa! I’ve had similar issues with couple birds that I got hung on ‘previous’ names or slang names. It took quite a while for me to not say seagulls or buzzards.

  5. This a hard to photograph bird, he hides behind rocks all the time. Great two shots! 🙂

    • Thank you, Deborah! They are so easy to ID with their spots, but during migration, they blend in with the other small shorebirds, making them harder to ID at a distance. 😏

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