Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, Bar-tailed Godwits, and Bristle-thighed Curlews
- Yesterday, August 30, at the mouth of the Kasilof River there were at least 4 SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPERS among approximately 50 Pectoral Sandpipers. Three BAR-TAILED GODWITS accompanied by a single Hudsonian Godwit only made things better. I have only recorded Bar-tailed Godwit from the Kasilof River once before - a single bird with a flock of three Hudsonian Godwits on August 18, 2008. A lone Bar-tailed Godwit was observed on the Kenai Flats in May 2009.
Today, August 31, on the lower Kenai River from the Port of Kenai flocks of Pectoral and Sharp-tailed Sandpipers could be seen along the river banks and later in the upland ponds approaching high tide. At least 100 Pectoral Sandpipers were feeding and moving constantly. It was hard to get a fix on total numbers since flocks of 12 to 20 birds were coming and going continually. I estimated that there was roughly one Sharp-tailed Sandpiper per 15 to 20 Pectoral Sandpipers. I assume I saw at least 5 Sharpies this afternoon. Of particular note were 3 BRISTLE-THIGHED CURLEWS with one Whimbrel on the river bank nearest the bird viewing platform. These are the first Bristle-thighed Curlews I have ever observed on the Kenai Flats. Long-time resident birder Todd Eskelin said he was not familiar with any previous local records.