Solitary Sandpiper -- maybe

Lori Arthur <loriarthur61@...>

Hi everybody. Today I birded the ponds on the E side of Lake Elizabeth, hoping for the Solitary Sandpiper. I first checked its usual pond at about 11:00 AM, and found a Mallard/Gadwall pair, a Killdeer, and a Spotted Sandpiper.

After a while of scoping the golf course pond from the train tracks, I saw a sandpiper walking rapidly, occasionally violently stabbing into the mud, and never bobbing its rear like a Spotty. I got a couple of looks at it with the scope, both in bad heat-haze, but I think I made out big light-and-dark spots around the tail and a more solidly dark breast than a Spotty, without the white wedge at the side. Its legs also seemed longer than a Spotted's. But I didn't get a good enough look to be 100% sure of its I.D. A little later, two Spotties erupted out of the pond, showing pink-based bills and white wing-stripes.

I also checked the original pond a couple more times, but found it either completely birdless or with only a single Spotted

-- Noah Arthur, Oakland

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