Woodbridge Road this afternoon


I was planning on going up there tomorrow to try for the Bank Swallow(s) seen by Jims Rowoth and Gain and others recently but was asked to work a full shift so I went this afternoon when I got off work. I arrived at about quarter-to-four and drove to the entrance to The Black Hole to check the wires for swallows. There were only 20 Tree swallows perched at the time so I headed back east before I got sucked in (it's a black hole, get it?)

I parked at the east end of the flooded field and started walking back, scope in hand, to check the shorebirds.  Less than .1 miles from my car I saw a small swallow with a pale rump fly by, low above the field. I got on it with my bins and watched it until it banked (I just realized that I made a pun!) and saw the dark breast band. BANK SWALLOW (BANS), check, as Kurt Mize would say. Then, about 2/3 of the way back to the Hole I spotted what I thought was a Solitary Sandpiper (SOSA), a bird that I missed when I tried for it Sunday. More on this bird in a minute.

After seeing the bird I thought was a SOSA I walked back to my car and drove back down to the entrance to the Hole. There was already someone there checking the swallows. A few minutes after my arrival she departed but stopped to ask if I had had any luck with the BANS. I told her about the one I had seen earlier and asked if she had seen the the SOSA. She said she had not so I told her about the bird I had seen and where it was. I saw her stop in that area and I did not get your name but if you read this I'd like to apologize; when I looked at my photos and saw the bird with its wings up I realized that a Lesser Yellowlegs had fooled me, yet again, into thinking it was a SOSA.

Not ten minutes after the other birder was out of sight down the road I scanned the wires and found a BANS perched among the others. I got several photos, some of which I added to my ebird list; https://ebird.org/checklist/S72236556

I also saw a possible Yellow-headed Blackbird fly in but by the time I got on it with my bins the angle was bad and then the flock split in twain and I lost the bird and could not refind it. And I did not see the WILLET.

Ralph Baker, Riverbank