Buff-breasted Sandpiper in Richmond

Aaron Maizlish


Many thanks to Logan Kahle for getting the word out earlier.  At least a dozen birders were able to see the bird this afternoon.

Now that I’m back home I’ve been trying to catch up on some of that August shorebird-migration magic.  This afternoon after leaving work I decided to check out the Richmond sewage ponds, formally the West County Wastewater District Treatment Plant.   After signing in at the office I went off to survey the ponds and was disappointed with the lack of bird activity.  In the second large pond (east of the office), there were just three distant medium-sized sandpipers with buffy breasts on the mud that caught my eye.  I went back to my car to get the camera and was shocked to realize that I was looking at one BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER associating with two BAIRD’S SANDPIPERS. 

The three pipers were very mellow and cooperative for the two hours that I stayed on site -eventually joined by a third Baird’s Sandpiper and a small number of peeps.   The Buff-breasted is a first year bird with crisp plumage, bright yellow legs and white edges on the wing feathers.

I have put up six photos on my flickr feed starting here:   https://www.flickr.com/photos/amaizlish/30383567858/  - I also included most of them on the eBird report.  This was probably my most desired life-bird and it was quite exciting to stumble about it.  According to Logan this is a first county record for Contra Costa County.

I do not know if the WCWD is open on the weekends.  You need to sign in at the office - the staff and workers are always extremely friendly to birders on the few times I have interacted with them.

Aaron Maizlish
San Francisco, CA

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