Virgin Creek Estuary Semipalmated & Baird's Sandpipers
I spent an hour birding the Virgin Creek estuary and beaches at MacKerricker State Park on Monday the 14th of Aug. Upon arrival there was a single juvenile BAIRD'S Sandpiper feeding in and along the estuary with approximately 50 Western and Least sandpipers. Westerns were in a 1:1 ratio of juveniles to adults and Least about 1:4 juv vs adults. Flocks of 10-20 peeps continued to arrive and depart over the course of the hour, some due to people approaching but the majority seemed to make brief stops and move on. Near the end of my time there a small flock of ~20 largely Least, but with a few Westerns, was accompanied by a single juvenile SEMIPALMATED Sandpiper. This flock flew in and foraged briefly before moving on. Just before leaving a BAIRD'S Sandpiper flew over the estuary calling, possibly a different bird than the first. Other notables in the vicinity included: 1 MARBLED GODWIT foraging in the rack line, 2 fly over calling LONG-BILLED CURLEWS, ~20 Black-bellied plovers scattered along the beach, 1 PURPLE MARTIN overhead calling, and at the Pudding Creek estuary a single adult PEREGRINE FALCON made an attempt to catch the only peep I saw there.
McKinleyville, Humboldt Co.