Meeker Slough Baird's Sandpiper


Sharon Jue
 

This afternoon I went to look for the Nelson's Sparrows, but walking the small stretch of beach towards the little hillock where they'd recently been seen I was distracted by a lone sandpiper. Medium-sized and bobbing like a lethargic Spotted Sandpiper, but in plumage resembling a Least, it required a few minutes of attention. Bill was about head-length, a bit longer than on LESA, legs were dark, body wider than tall, but most importantly, very long wings crossing over the back. I had my suspicions, but sent a couple of snaps to friends for confirmation. The reply was yes, Baird's, but insanely late. 

The bird flushed as another beachwalker passed by; it circled a few times before appearing to land in the marsh. I spent most of the remaining daylight trying to relocate it, and finally saw it had returned to the beach as I was leaving. In flight its left leg dangles; apparently it is injured but still able to run about. It was fairly actively foraging, and taking short looping flights when disturbed, but preferring to return to the beach to feed. 

Ethan encouraged me to post, as this sighting is exceptionally late; most records occur in August and September. Ebird only has about six other November records throughout the state; if this bird remains for a few days it will be the sole December record in California (though there are three in January from SoCal).

A handful of photos can be seen on my checklist: 
Several other birders were present (including SH & VW); hopefully they have photos as well.

--
-Sharon Jue
~Berkeley


Donrsimonson@...
 

Thank you Sharon, Steve and Viviana for pointing out the Baird’s Sandpiper at Meeker Slough, Richmond today, as I happened by looking (unsuccessfully) for Nelson’s Sparrow. 
 
I don’t use a camera and had failed to bring paper with me into the marsh so I wrote the briefest of notes on the back of my hand in ballpoint: “drooping bill, long wings”. After returning to my vehicle I made a sketch on paper noting the drooping bill tip, black legs (left leg or foot is injured), wingtips extending beyond the tail and two field marks distinguishing from White-rumped Sandpiper - no streaking on sides and no white rump when it flew. A large  peep, larger than Western; seemed a bit chunkier than my recollection of White-rumped Sandpiper. The sketch can be found on my checklist at:

--
Don Simonson, El Cerrito


Steven Hunter
 

On Wednesday, November 30, 2022 at 12:40:34 AM PST, <donrsimonson@...> wrote:


Thank you Sharon, Steve and Viviana for pointing out the Baird’s Sandpiper at Meeker Slough, Richmond today, as I happened by looking (unsuccessfully) for Nelson’s Sparrow. 
 
I don’t use a camera and had failed to bring paper with me into the marsh so I wrote the briefest of notes on the back of my hand in ballpoint: “drooping bill, long wings”. After returning to my vehicle I made a sketch on paper noting the drooping bill tip, black legs (left leg or foot is injured), wingtips extending beyond the tail and two field marks distinguishing from White-rumped Sandpiper - no streaking on sides and no white rump when it flew. A large  peep, larger than Western; seemed a bit chunkier than my recollection of White-rumped Sandpiper. The sketch can be found on my checklist at:

--
Don Simonson, El Cerrito