A brief glimpse of a really good bird

Aaron Maizlish


I wanted to put the word out about a potentially good bird, even though my view of it was too quick to give me 100% confidence on the ID.  Since this is a heavily birded spot, maybe others will look for it.

I went down to San Leandro Marina this morning, following Bob Richmond's report, to see how the shorebird activity is picking up.  Walking south from the parking lot along the golf course there are big numbers of large waders on the bay at low tide, but only a few dozen peeps in the two small ponds.  

Past the end of the golf course where the marsh begins there is a side channel that had 4 black-necked stints and an intriguing sandpiper.  Getting my bins on it, it had a brick red chest, medium length bill, very upright posture standing out of the water, with decently long legs and was exactly the right size for a Curlew Sandpiper.   The birds all scurried around the bend in the channel and it never reappeared in the 40 minutes that I waited for it.  I was getting late for work.

It is possible that I totally misjudged the size and bill length of an SB dowitcher, but I don't think so.  I have experience with Curlew Sandpipers and I can't think of anything else it could be.  If anyone else is down there tomorrow, it would be worth spending some time at this channel.  Unfortunately about 90% of the habitat is not visible from the trail.

Aaron Maizlish
San Francisco, CA

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