[Tweeters] Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Crockett Lake, Whidbey Island

Sarah Schmidt one4bats at comcast.net
Sat Jul 20 21:46:36 PDT 2013


Joe Sheldon and I were doing a Western Sandpiper survey at Crockett Lake
this morning when we spotted a bird that was unfamiliar to both of us.
Neither of us had seen the species before. It had distinctly orange-yellow
legs, very plain buffy colored on face, breast and belly, lightening
slightly on ventral toward tail. Scapulars outlined in light, making a
pretty, marbled pattern on back. Not near any other birds so hard to judge
size, though it was clearly larger than the westerns. We thought it was
probably bigger than a Sanderling and smaller than a Black-bellied Plover.
It was feeding alone on higher mudflat among some grass clumps. It flew
when a flock of peeps took flight and moved out of sight toward north side
of lake. All I noticed in flight, other than its larger size than the
peeps, was pale underwings. In Sibley's it most closely resembled either
Buff-breasted Sandpiper or Ruff juvenile.

Joe Sheldon took some photos through his spotting scope They are fuzzy, but
sufficient for Dennis Paulson to confirm it as a Buff-breasted Sandpiper.
Photos are on Whidbey Audubon's Facebook page (click on one photo to scroll
through all 4):
https://www.facebook.com/WhidbeyAudubonSociety?ref=tn_tnmn

The bird was photographed at noon on July 20 on the mudflats along the
south shore of Crockett Lake, just west of Milepost 14 (toward eastern end
of the lake).

Sarah Schmidt

--
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Sarah Schmidt
243 Rhodena Drive
Coupeville, WA 98239
(360) 678-8396
(360) 929-3592 cell
one4bats at comcast.net
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