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8940A Ruff on SAR at Lakeview (presumably same)

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  • GBANI1978@...
    Aug 16, 2014
      A Ruff (presumably the same bird as the one that's been seen on the Santa Ana River (SAR) since late July, up by Imperial) was again on the river this afternoon (16 Aug.), but this time it was about 200 feet upstream of Lakeview Ave. This is about 1.5 miles downstream of Imperial, so apparently this bird is getting around quite a bit now. If my hunch is right (that this is possibly a bird that has wintered along the upper SAR for one or possibly even two years), this individual could frequent the river (when conditions are suitable) as far downstream as the Lincoln to Glassell stretch. The riverbed currently becomes dry somewhere downstream of the Tustin Ave. crossing, though flow has varied a bit in recent weeks. In any case, I would not be too surprised if the bird isn't seen at Imperial Hwy. as consistently, especially if there happens to be more suitable shorebird habitat elsewhere.

      Today the bird was associating with dowitchers, and appears to have replaced 75-80% of its alternate plumage (though it does still retain some bright rusty (alternate) feathers, with bold black barring) in the upperparts. It also still shows a small amount of dark blotching on the breast. I never was up at Imperial today, but instead was just looking for shorebirds (and shorebird habitat) further downstream. No other shorebirds of note were found, but at least there was a modest variety of things (checking spots between Lakeview and the Orange-Olive Street railroad bridge crossing), including a few Lesser Yellowlegs (and at least 50-60 Greaters), a fair number of Western & Least sandpipers, many Long-billed Dowitchers, Wilson's Phalarope, a few Semipalmated Plovers, etc. Evidence of a few landbird migrants included 3 or 4 warblers at Riverdale Park (Yellows and Orange-crowned).

      Doug Willick
      Orange, CA