This Eurasian Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus phaeopus/variegatus/alboaxillaris) was found by Cameron Cox on Bob Road, Crystal Beach, Bolivar Peninsula, Galveston county, Texas on Monday April 29, 2013. This is the first record for Texas and one of only a handful in the Americas away from western Alaska. It was still present when we got there on Saturday lunchtime, May 04, along with at least 5 hudsonicus Whimbrels (the normal form found in the Americas). Note that the American form hudsonicus (plus a partially recognized form rufiventris) has been split off as a separate species, Hudsonian Whimbrel, by the British Ornithologists Union (this form is very rare in Europe). There are obvious differences in plumage, plus subtle differences in call notes (not sure about displays).
These distant photos were taken in quite testing conditions (harsh early afternoon light and heat-haze, looking towards the Sun).
Note the following features:
- the striking white extending from the upper back down between the dark scapulars to the upper rump
- the extensive white in the tail and uppertail covert barring
- the extensive white notching on the secondaries, secondary coverts and inner primaries creating a strong contrast with the blackish outer primaries and primary coverts
- the white underparts lacking any of the warm tones of hudsonicus:
The next two photos show it having just landed, with a hudsonicus Whimbrel flying overhead: