aba events
Nikon Monarch 7

    #ABArare – Lesser Sand-Plover and Sharp-tailed Sandpiper – California

    On July 19, Matt Sadowski discovered a Lesser Sand-Plover (Code 3) at the South San Diego Bay Unit of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Imperial Beach, CA. A day earlier, he found an adult Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Code 3), which was seen again on the 19th, at the same location.

    While these birds have the same ABA Checklist Code, the plover is generally much more difficult to see, as Sharp-tailed Sandpipers are regularly found during fall migration in parts of Alaska and the West Coast. However, usually only immatures are seen, so when you take into account its age, this Sharp-tailed is about equally as rare as the plover.

    ABArare Lesser Sand-Plover 2013-07-19 Saltworks MSadowski (1)

    ABArare Sharp-tailed Sandpiper 2013-07-18 Saltworks MSadowski (3)
    photos by Matt Sadowski

    Both birds are in a restricted area (threatened Snowy Plovers and endangered Least Terns are nesting here) but were visible from an accessible bike path on the 19th (map here). The Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, along with a locally-rare Stilt Sandpiper, was visible in the area to the northeast of the north end of 13th Street. The Lesser Sand-Plover was initially located in an area not visible from the bike path but was then refound in the afternoon to the west of the north end of 7th Street by Lea Squires. Paul Lehman reports that the plover flew far off to the northwest at 7:50 PM and the Sharp-tailed was not seen in the early evening.

    Both viewing locations are accessible from Palm Avenue in Imperial Beach. Take I-5 to the Palm Avenue/Hwy 75 exit and go west. Turn right either on 13th Street or 7th Street. Parking is available on the streets.

    Keep in mind that the shorebirds here move around a lot in response to tides. If they are not around when you arrive, it sometimes pays to wait. Check SD Birds and the ABA Rare Bird Alert group on Facebook [you must be logged onto Facebook for this link to work] to see if either bird is refound on the 20th.


    ABArare Lesser Sand-Plover Gary Nunn
    photo by Gary Nunn

    The following two tabs change content below.
    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.
    John Puschock

    Latest posts by John Puschock (see all)

    • http://www.waderquest.org/ Rick Simpson

      Interesting that two such rare shorebirds should turn up so close together. Well done Matt for finding them, you’re on a roll… what’s next?

    Birders know well that the healthiest, most dynamic choruses contain many different voices. The birding community encompasses a wide variety of interests, talents, and convictions. All are welcome.
    If you like birding, we want to hear from you.
    Read More »

    Recent Comments

    Categories

    Authors

    Archives

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    • Planting an Interest at Farm Camp April 22, 2014 8:28
      To my brother Benjamin and me, it’s not summer without Farm Camp. Run by Connie, a teacher at my former middle school, and her husband David, Farm Camp is a small, outdoors-oriented, all-ages camp that runs throughout the first half of summer. […]
    • Adapting To A Human World April 17, 2014 11:08
      For many species, the slow process of evolution makes it very difficult to adapt to a dynamic society. However, some birds have evolved certain characteristics to assist in ensuring the survival of the species in the face of an ever-changing world. Others have learned behaviors that can assist in their survival. […]
    • From Coffee to Penguins: Winter Research 2014 April 2, 2014 6:04
      This post is the beginning of a series meant to highlight new discoveries about birds and make ornithological research more accessible to young birders. […]

    Follow ABA on Twitter

    Nature Blog Network