shorbird fest in GJ
Discussing shorebirds with a couple of local birders this evening, I decided to go looking for mudflats.
First stop was Redlands Parkway North Pond to see if any of Bob Bradley’s birds might still be there. what a circus! I was mildly frustrated by a combination of bad light and birds that wouldn’t sit still, but I believe there about 100 shorebirds:
Long–billed dowitcher 1
Wilson’s snipe 2
Greater 2 and Lesser Yellowlegs 1
Baird’s sandpiper 1
With the remainder Killdeer, Least and Western sandpipers
Except for two Dunlins, so at first I thought (nonbreeding of course). The two birds I am describing were among peeps so the overall size and proportions, along with obviously long decurved bills, were easy to see.
The problem when they flew was that one clearly had no dark center on the rump, in fact all I saw was white out to the tip of the tail, but I kept studying details as it moved around the pond and I was struck by how clean white the belly and flanks were, and how pale the back of the bird was (compared to the other Dunlin thing). Viewing distance (with bins and scope) ranged 60 ft to 150 ft, but again, light was kind of getting bad, I got no pictures, and the chance of a second CURLEW SANDPIPER occurring in Colorado within two days is next to zero, eh? The other bird that’s a fairly close match is Stilt sandpiper, but it lacks the dorsal wing pattern of Dunlin and Curlew Sandpiper in flight. About the ONLY thing I can think of that favors Stilt Sandpiper are the documented migration windows in western Colorado. Maybe more local birders can take a look at these birds tomorrow!?
It was “calmer” at Green Heron Pond, with:
Peep sp 3
Solitary sandpiper 2
Greater yellowlegs 2
There were peeps moving all along the Colorado River until I left at dusk, no idea how many. They’re moving through, along with the swallows! And I don’t think the hummingbird population at our feeders has peeked yet.