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Possible Solitary Sandpiper at SJWS / Spotted Sandpiper

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  • Matt W.
    At San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, at (severely low) Pond D this this AM just before 8, I was scanning for anything unusual. As I scanned through the few
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 11, 2009
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      At San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, at (severely low) Pond D this this AM just before 8, I was scanning for anything unusual. As I scanned through the few Western Sandpipers, Killdeer, American Avocets and Black Neck Stilts, I found a "willet-like fowl". He (or she) was completely opposite from me in what little water there was in the pond. But he was definitely no willet, quite a bit smaller and slightly different markings. I decided to keep an eye on him as I walked around the pond to get a better look. Sure enough, he took off. The main marking I noticed was what I called a "barred" tail, which was striped perpendicular to his body. The sound he made as he flew was always a series of two, short, high pitched, slightly nasally whistles. I was never able to confirm presence of an eye ring as I was too far. After reviewing Sibley , I was confident that the most likely suspect was Solitary Sandpiper. I see that this has been reported earlier.
      Please let me know if this sounds like a good assessment or any confirmations of his presence.

      I think this bird likes Pond D. After he flew away to the Pond 3 area, he came back soon.

      Also present was a Spotted Sandpiper in Pond E which, while completely spotless in non-breeding plumage, was dipping and teetering the Spotted Sandpiper dance.

      There was also a beautiful adult Osprey perched on a phone pole near the creek, as well as a juvenile flying over the creek looking for fish. At first I thought I had an eagle but as I got closer it was clearly an Osprey. The rare close-up look revealed a magnificently large raptor with a countenance reminiscent of the bald eagle.

      Matt Warren
      Lake Forest
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