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#ABArare – Spotted Redshank – Oregon – UPDATED

Becky Uhler found a Spotted Redshank (Code 4) at Fern Ridge Reservoir on July 4. The reservoir is located about 8 miles west of Eugene, OR. Other birders were able to see the bird and photos were obtained.

It was first found at the headquarters on Cantrell Road, which is in the West Coyote Unit south of Hwy 126. (A map is available here.) It then flew to the Fisher Butte Unit north of Hwy 126, and then was last seen flying north again beyond the Royal Platform. This area of Fern Ridge Reservoir has hosted Sharp-tailed and Wood sandpipers in the past four years.

ABArare Spotted Redshank 001
photo by Becky Uhler

This is a developing story, and details are spotty. Keep an eye on Oregon Birders Online for updates.I will also update this post as information and photos become available.

There have been problems with car break-ins at the parking area at the end of Royal Avenue in the past. I will check to see if this is still an issue. [It’s not known if cars are still being broken into here, but Dan Heyerly stayed in the parking lot on the morning of July 5 to prevent break-ins for happening.]

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This individual was in alternate plumage. The beautiful Spotted Redshank is similar in structure to a Greater Yellowlegs but with shorter legs and a longer, straighter bill with a slight drop to the tip.  It is a Eurasian species, rare in the Alaskan Islands, and casual on both coasts with records from such unexpected locations such as New Mexico, Nevada, Kansas, and Ohio.  It breeds in both the Arctic and Subarctic from Scandinavia east across northern Russia to eastern Siberia.  Spotted Redshank winters from Western Europe and eastern Africa, east to Vietnam and southeastern China. It is a long distant migrant (The Shorebird Guide, O’Brien et al.).  In Europe, they pass over land on a broad front but also a significant flight occurs along the western European coast. After breeding is completed in open wooded tundra, heathland, or shrub tundra they have been recorded in a variety of habitats including sewage treatment areas, irrigated rice fields, saltmarshes, brackish lagoons, and sheltered muddy shores (Handbook of the Birds of the World, Volume 3).

An excellent summary of Spotted Redshank records from the ABA Area can be found in Steve Mlodinow’s 1999 article in North American Birds 53: 124-130.

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UPDATE: Noah Strycker refound the Spotted Redshank in the Fisher Butte Unit early in the morning of July 5. After being in view for about 10 minutes, the bird flew off to the northwest. Later, several birders saw the bird fly overhead just south of the Royal viewing platform around 8 AM. It was heading west and was not seen after that.

Here are some additional photos from July 4th:

ABArare Spotted Redshank spre 07a

ABArare Spotted Redshank spre 16aphotos by Dennis Arendt

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John Puschock

John Puschock

John Puschock reports ABA rare bird alerts and manages #ABArare for the American Birding Association. John is a frequent participant in rare bird forums around the web and has knack for gathering details necessary to relocate birds. He has been a birder since 1984 and now leads tours for Bird Treks, as well as for his own company Zugunruhe Birding Tours. He has led tours to locations across North America, from Newfoundland to New Mexico and from Costa Rica to Alaska. He specializes in leading tours to Adak in the Aleutian Islands.