[Tweeters] Shorebird with upcurved bill, Eagle Harbor (Bainbridge)

Brenda Burnett beaknbird at hotmail.com
Sun Jul 6 09:40:25 PDT 2014

Yesterday my husband and I kayaked into the far corners of Eagle Harbor just after high tide. We came across 3 Killdeer and a similar-sized shorebird on a muddy beach. We were able to drift within a few yards of the mystery bird without disturbing its foraging and watched it for a long time as it foraged in mud and shallow water. Here's my best description of the mystery bird:

Body: about the same size as the nearby Killdeer but more slender/sleeker.
Color pattern: Orange! Dark line through eye, heavily marbled cap and back, clear orange above and below eye line, orange neck, breast, and underparts all the way to the tail, light barring on upper breast but mostly clear below that.
Bill: gray, long, upcurved, not 2-toned as many Godwit photos show
Legs: long, gray upper legs, slight yellow-gray caste to lower legs
Tail: not much of one. A tiny edge of black at the tip.

That's the best I can do (sigh...need to take a shorebird class). The only bird in my shorebird book with a bill like that is a Godwit, though it seems that their bills are usually 2-toned (?). This bird was also fairly small--as I said, very similar in body size to the Killdeer.

Any suggestions?

Brenda Burnett


beaknbird at hotmail dot com

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