8-7-21 good birds at Frank's Dump plus one that got away

Bruce Mast

Hello East Bay Birders,
Yesterday (Saturday), we took our Master Birding class out to Frank's Dump at Hayward Regional Shoreline to study shorebirds. We timed our visit for afternoon high tide when the birds come into the salt flats and sand spits to roost. The action did not disappoint.

Best identified bird was a/the immature Semipalmated Sandpiper, first found by Rachel L. in the southwest corner, feeding with a loose group of Western Sandpipers. The adult Westerns kept harassing it. Only a few of us got decent looks (and no photos before it flew off but Sharon J later later alerted us that she had refound the bird. On the second go, a number of us got good looks and diagnostic photos.(see https://ebird.org/checklist/S92943022)

Other goodies included a/the Pacific Golden-Plover hanging out with the large Black-Bellied Plover flock, a handful of Ruddy Turnstones, continuing Red Knots, a handful of Red-necked and Wilson's Phalaropes, a couple Sanderlings, a good number of Snowy and Semipalmated Plovers, plus several thousand peeps, Godwits, and Willets. Immature birds are starting to show up so we were able to compare with adult birds.

The bird that got away is one that I tried to pass off as a Sanderling, mindful of Noah Arthur's recent admonishment. A few of us got unsatisfying looks before it flew off. Size-wise, it looked too small, more like a peep than a sanderling. Bill was short and fairly thin. It showed a buffy unmarked wash over the face, throat and upper breast and the buff was demarcated from the white lower breast and belly by short dark streaks and spots. So if you're going out to the Dump any time soon, keep an eye out for a possible Stint. High tide today at Robert's Landing is 2:21 pm.

Bird on,

Bruce Mast