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Curlew Sandpiper at Merced NWR

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  • Alvaro Jaramillo
    Birders I just wanted to fill in some of the gaps on this Curlew Sandpiper we found on Sunday May 25th at Merced NWR. I was leading a tour for Field Guides and
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 9, 2003
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      Birders

      I just wanted to fill in some of the gaps on this Curlew Sandpiper
      we found on Sunday May 25th at Merced NWR. I was leading a tour for Field
      Guides and swung down to the refuge so that we could find Tricolored
      Blackbirds. There we found the Curlew Sandpiper along with a breeding
      plumage Stilt Sandpiper in the same little wetland. We were surprised to
      say the least. I should apologize for the report I left on the Northern
      California birdbox. I had been birding and driving all day and was
      exhausted. I forgot to mention that it was at the NWR, although I think
      that since I mentioned the auto loop, most of you figured out where the
      bird was. Also I probably should have been more definitive on the ID, I
      just wanted to make sure that you all had realized that we had considered
      other ID options. I guess the message sounded tentative in the end, and if
      that kept some of you from heading over there I apologize. Good going to
      Kent Van Vuren who saw the bird on the tuesday!
      In any case I did get a bunch of digiscopes and a couple have been
      posted on Joe Morlan's page (thanks Joe).

      http://fog.ccsf.edu/~jmorlan/gallery.htm

      Click on Curlew Sandpiper to see the bird. As I mentioned on the tape there
      was not one red feather on it! The bird had a white rump, which is not
      visible in the shots. To separate from Stilt Sandpiper look at the following:
      - bill thick at base, finely tipped. Curves throughout length.
      - Forehead steep, eye somewhat centrally placed. Flat crown and eye closer
      to crown on Stilt.
      - Shorter legs, although the bird was always foraging deep in the water and
      the full leg length could not be seen. What I looked at was the length of
      the tibia and compared them to the Stilt Sand that was there.
      - Blackish legs.
      - no streaking on flanks, spotting confined to breast sides.
      - Longer wings (primary and wing extension) compared to Stilt Sandpiper.
      - different face pattern, with dark lores intruding into pale supercilium.

      The bird did not call and we did not see it in flight. Dunlin easily
      eliminated by various features, but main ones are white rump, paler
      upperparts and breast, striking supercilium. If any of you have comments on
      the identification do let me know.

      I figured most of you wanted to see a few more details on this bird. My
      apologies for not sending out a message earlier, I was not in town.

      sending a copy to calbirds as folks there may be interested.

      cheers

      Alvaro

      Alvaro Jaramillo
      chucao@...
      Montara, California

      Field Guides - Birding Tours Worldwide
      http://www.fieldguides.com/home.htm
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