|Long-billed Dowitcher possy Shollenberger, Petaluma, California 6th August 2012|
Tail pattern isn't that much of a decent feature, which isn't how I envisaged it or what I wanted to hear. Nor really is wing projection beyond the tail. Basically Long-billed are pretty variable with either even bars or broader dark bars. But, then again, have a look at these images to see the variability in just this one flock. Have a read of this to get you thinking even more, and this one too that contradicts a lot from the previous link! It'll totally screw your head up, just like it has mine.
Also, primary and secondary feather moult takes place in Long-billeds at migration stop off sites while in all subspecies of Short-billed Dowitchers they moult their primaries predominantly on/near their wintering grounds (per O'Brien, Crossley and Karlson).
Any comments appreciated, as adult dowitchers are more baffling than I thought a few weeks ago.