Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 25, 2011

Sharp-Tailed Sandpiper

There has recently been a lot of buzz in Bay Area birding circles about a juvenile or two Sharp-tailed Sandpipers at Shollenberger Park in Petaluma in Sonoma County, CA.  It is a rare sighting for the Bay Area and it only appears here every few years.

Wikipedia has the following description of the Sharp-tail “Breeding adults are a rich brown with darker feather centres above, and white underneath apart from a buff breast. They have a light superciliary line above the eye and a chestnut crown. In winter, Sharp-tailed Sandpipers are grey above. The juveniles are brightly patterned above with rufous colouration and white mantle stripes.”

Wikipedia also adds “It breeds in the boggy tundra of northeast Asia and is strongly migratory, wintering in south-east Asia and Australasia. It occurs as a rare autumn migrant to North America..”

You can see a good photo of the bird at Bob Stockstad’s  photos gallery at: http://www.jstokstad.com/Ellis_Creek_Shollenberger_Oct_2011/  (The Sharp-Tailed Sandpiper is the top bird on the page).

There have not been any reported sightings on the internet the last few days so it is unclear if they are still around.  Two websites you can follow that report bird sightings in the North Bay are:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/northbaybirds/messages/8996?viscount=-30&l=1
http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/NOBB.html

To learn more about the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper go the USGS: TAXON: Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Calidris acuminata


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