Sharp-tailed sandpiper at Mad River
- Hi, all
Today, 9/8, I spent about 2.5 hours unsuccessfully looking for the
Greenshank at the Mad River mouth in Arcata, although I heard that it was
seen shortly before I arrived, about 11:00 am.
However, at about 12:30, I had a brief look at a juvenile SHARP-TAILED
SANDPIPER that landed among the Yellowlegs I was picking through. I had
walked downstream from the boat ramp on the Arcata side, down to the gravel
bar where lots of sanderlings and red-necked phalaropes have been hanging
out (I believe this is approximately the downstream limit of previous
Greenshank sightings). The sandpiper fed for a couple of minutes among
several Lesser Yellowlegs, then flew upstream with some departing
Yellowlegs. I spent about an hour checking all the accesses upstream to the
bridge, but could not relocate the bird, sadly.
The bird was about the size of a Pectoral Sandpiper, noticeably smaller and
stockier than the Lesser Yellowlegs it was with. The crown was a dark
reddish-brown, contrasting sharply with bold white superciliary stripes. The
breast had a clean, buff-colored wash (few streaks appeared below the throat
area), with white underparts. The legs appeared dull yellowish. I did not
get a good look at the tail pattern as it flew off.
Also, yesterday 9/7, I was able to relocate the male RUFF that had been
reported near the Arcata Marsh. From 12:50 to 1:07 (this spot is very
tide-dependent) the bird was preening and bathing in the slough between
Klopp Lake and the sewage ponds, before flying off.
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