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Sharp-tailed sandpiper at Mad River

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  • Jesse Conklin
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 8, 2001
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      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.

      Good birding,
      Jesse Conklin
      Eureka, CA

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