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#ABArare – Wood Sandpiper – New York

On the evening of April 16, 2018, Patricia Lindsay found a Wood Sandpiper on a golf course in Suffolk County, New York, the 2nd record for that state and only the 4th record for the Atlantic coast.

The bird was seen on the Timber Point Golf Course, in a puddle on the fairway. It was seen just east of the Timber Point entrance road, and just south of the spur road to the East Marina.

Wood Sandpiper is an ABA Code 2 species, owing to the fact that it has bred in the ABA Area before, but that code is misleading. It is a regular migrant in the central and western Aleutians, and an uncommon migrant elsewhere in western Alaska, but anywhere else in the ABA Area it is a very rare find. This is particularly true on the Atlantic coast, where there are only three previous records, including one from Westchester County, New York in 1990.

Spring records are particularly uncommon, as this is only the 2nd (the previous from Delaware, 2008). Howell, et al, in Rare Birds of North America notes that the previous spring record might be an individual that came north with migrating shorebirds having drifted to the Caribbean by way of Africa or Europe. Nearly two dozen records from the Azores in the last 20 years alone, as well as a single spring record from Bermuda, suggest that this might be an underrated avenue for this species, and other Old World shorebirds, to end up in North America this time of year.

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Nate Swick

Nate Swick

Editor, Social Media Manager at American Birding Association
Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog, social media manager for the ABA, and the host of the American Birding Podcast. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children. He is the author of Birding for the Curious and The ABA Field Guide to Birds of the Carolinas.
Nate Swick

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