[Tweeters] Sharp-tailed Sandpiper at Thomas Ponds this morning

B&PBell bellasoc at isomedia.com
Mon Oct 5 11:53:40 PDT 2009

Hi Tweets

At least one SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER was at the Thomas Road Ponds this morning. As I arrived just before 9 AM a small group of shorebirds arrived. Scanning the edge of the pond from the entrance to the U-Haul facility (the old Toysmith) I could see several Dowitchers, a couple of PECTORAL SANDPIPERs and a different bird. The light was favorable, and though distant, thru the scope it was apparent that the different bird was the Sharp-tailed - nice red top of head, bright supercilium, slight streaking on the sides of the breast and clear center of breast (perhaps with a slight golden wash?).

I walked down to the first fire hydrant and scanned the birds. While much closer, because it was early the birds were essentially backlit and it was difficult to see details thru the cattails and the glare. I moved a ways further down and looked again. The light was a bit better and I could pick out the Sharp-tailed. For a brief time it was alongside a Pectoral, and I got the impression that the bill was somewhat shorter on the Sharp-tailed. Then they moved out of sight. I walked back to the U-haul entrance and scanned. The Sharp-tailed and a dowitcher were dozing. Walking back down past the fire hydrant, the light was now somewhat better and good views were seen. I was joined by Marv Breece and we watched the bird until I left at about 9:30. During this time the Sharp-tailed was mostly dozing, only pulling its head out for a second or two. Unmistakeable looks, and we could see the buffy edging to the scapulars. At one point the bird was facing away and holding itself such that we could see the pointedness of the tail feathers.

All in all a great morning!

Brian H. Bell
Birding & Natural History Guide
Woodinville, WA
mail to bell asoc at isomedia dot com

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