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RE: [CALBIRDS] Curlew Sandpiper at Seal Beach NWR, Orange County 11/7/10

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  • John Sterling
    John Kelly and I saw an adult Curlew Sandpiper with similar plumage in Humboldt County on 31 October to 1 November 1981. Nice to see a similar record in the
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 10, 2010
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      John Kelly and I saw an adult Curlew Sandpiper with similar plumage in
      Humboldt County on 31 October to 1 November 1981. Nice to see a similar
      record in the state. We thought it was very strange at the time to have
      bird with quite a bit of red on the breast at that late date.



      John Sterling

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      From: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com [mailto:CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
      Of Nick & Mary Freeman
      Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2010 9:18 PM
      To: CALBIRDS
      Subject: [CALBIRDS] Curlew Sandpiper at Seal Beach NWR, Orange County
      11/7/10





      Hi

      We led a Los Angeles Audubon Society trip to Seal Beach NWR, Orange
      County on Sunday 11/7/10. Entry to this site is by permission only,
      cameras are not allowed. At about 10:45am, I spotted a brick-red bird
      in a mixed, loafing flock of Black-bellied Plover, Dunlin, Western
      Sandpiper, and dowitchers. We all first thought of Red Knot who were
      in the flock but in basic plumage. We watched the bird with spotting
      scopes as the sandpiper was about 30-40 yards away. It was blotchy
      brick-red on the breast, white from the flanks to the vent, dark
      (blackish) wings with some flecking of white, and blackish legs. We
      saw what seemed like a supercilium line. Nick thought it to be
      Curlew Sandpiper. As the bird lifted its head, we then saw the
      whitish area in the face down to the throat and the long, curving
      narrow bill. We watched it about 10-15 minutes when a Peregrine
      Falcon flushed the flock. It landed again maybe two or three times
      until most of the flock flew out of site. It wasn't relocated.

      Since fieldtrip participants cannot take cameras, John Nieto (co-
      leader) had an SLR camera and a site biologist let me borrow his
      point and shoot camera which I digiscoped from a distance to
      photodocument the sandpiper

      John Lobel, Tom Stephenson, John Fitch, and the Freemans clenched the
      ID as we have experience with this species. Kimball Garrett wrote
      back: "It certainly looks like a Curlew, from head pattern, bill
      shape, etc. I note from the literature that body molt ought to be
      completed by mid-October (started on the breeding grounds, but
      suspended then completed on the winter grounds). So this bird is at
      least a couple of weeks behind the times."

      The site biologist alerted another biologist that birders may request
      access but beware - escorted visits are limited, 562.598.1024.

      Two NELSON'S SPARROW, one BRANT and two Large-billed Savannah
      Sparrows were also seen.

      Happy Birding!

      Mary & Nick Freeman
      Glendale, CA





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