Update: This bird was seen flying by at close range with a few Least Sandpipers on December 18, 2005, on the San ANtonio Christmas Count.
This Semipalmated Sandpiper was found at Mitchell Lake Audubon Center, San Antonio, Texas on December 02, 2005. I had seen it once before (in fresh juvenile plumage), in early September at MLCA among thousands of peeps - thus I feel it is attempting to winter at this site. This bird is hampered by a large growth hanging down between/behind its legs, and this renders it immediatley recognisable. It is a 1CY bird that has a mix of worn juvenile and fresher first-basic feathers. It will be interesting to see if we can track this bird through the winter, as there is no fully-documented record of Semip. Sand. in Texas from Dec to Feb. There are a very small number of credible reports of this species in the United States in this period, but almost none documented by specimen or identifiable photographs (I'd like to learn of any such records - thanks):
The bird was at quite a long distance when I found it, and the combination of retained worn (blackish) upper scapulars plus renewed (pale brownish gray) lower scaps and adjacent mantle/back feathers created a strong black "V" similar to that seen on some juvenile Temminck's Stints:
All pics above are by Andy Garcia; the pics below are by Martin Reid: