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Pectoral/Sharp-tailed Sandpiper at the Yosemite Slough Pond


Aaron Maizlish
 

SF Birders,

I just wanted to get the word out before it gets dark, though I haven’t done all of my due diligence and I’m not making the call yet.

I spent some time this afternoon getting distant photos of what I believe is a 1st year Sharp-tailed Sandpiper.   I had meetings all afternoon and didn’t get to look at the photos until just now but I think this looks promising.

Yosemite Slough “Community Garden” pond.  Park at the very end of Revere Street (unfortunately filled with trash right now) and look through the fence at the pond.  On the left half of the pond was a juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper.   On the right half of the pond at the very far back were about 100 peeps.  Among them is a first year Pectoral/Sharp-tailed.   Buffy unstreaked breast, strong white supercilium, brown cap - no eye ring (probably variable in a HY bird.).  Worth checking out!

As always be safe and aware at this spot.  Homeless people have all been very friendly to birders - let’s keep it that way.   

Good luck,

Aaron



Aaron Maizlish
 

SF Birders,

I put up a gallery of photos of the sandpiper in question tonight on my eBird checklist at:  https://ebird.org/checklist/S74304777 

Like I said, the bird was very distant at the back end of the pond toward the right.  I shot this with a 500mm lens.   Going through my photos I am also detecting two different Pectoral  Sandpipers, seen on opposite ends of the pond on my first past through (it’s late and I hope I’m not confusing one with the third bird.)

From consulting Sibley and Nat Geo, I’m still not sure, though I’m leaning to Sharp-tailed Sandpiper - but I sure wish the photos were a lot sharper so I could really see the breast pattern more clearly.  The white supercilium, rufous cap, and orange wash on breast all point to S-T.  The facial pattern and breast pattern are somehow different than what I’ve seen in Pectoral variation.

Bird was photographed at about 1:45pm today.  High tide, very smoky air, 82 degrees.  If the bird returns tomorrow and is closer to the fence that would quickly resolve the issue.  I may check again tomorrow near high tide (12:12pm), but maybe try earlier in the day when the heat shimmer hasn’t built up.

There were about ten dowitchers on the pond and an early Dunlin.

Educated opinions welcome.



Aaron Maizlish








On Oct 1, 2020, at 5:48 PM, Aaron Maizlish via groups.io <amm.birdlists@...> wrote:

SF Birders,

I just wanted to get the word out before it gets dark, though I haven’t done all of my due diligence and I’m not making the call yet.

I spent some time this afternoon getting distant photos of what I believe is a 1st year Sharp-tailed Sandpiper.   I had meetings all afternoon and didn’t get to look at the photos until just now but I think this looks promising.

Yosemite Slough “Community Garden” pond.  Park at the very end of Revere Street (unfortunately filled with trash right now) and look through the fence at the pond.  On the left half of the pond was a juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper.   On the right half of the pond at the very far back were about 100 peeps.  Among them is a first year Pectoral/Sharp-tailed.   Buffy unstreaked breast, strong white supercilium, brown cap - no eye ring (probably variable in a HY bird.).  Worth checking out!

As always be safe and aware at this spot.  Homeless people have all been very friendly to birders - let’s keep it that way.   

Good luck,

Aaron


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