Date: 7/26/17 1:37 pm From: Louis Kreemer <lpkreemer...> Subject: [Tweeters] Semipalmated Sandpiper Montlake Fill
This morning there was a Semipalmated Sandpiper foraging on Main Pond at the Fill. When I first saw the bird it stood out to me as brighter and paler than the soon IDed accompanying Western. I watched it in the scope for a good while, then it moved to the North beach of the pond, where much better views were possible. An amazing part of this sighting was the fact that the only two other peeps on the pond were a Least and a Western. What luck! I was able to compare all three species only twenty feet away. Larry Hubbell kindly took photos of the bird for ID purposes when it was far away. Alex Mackenzie, Mary, Ian (No last names) and later Connie Sidles were able to see the bird. Connie was fortunately able to drive down to the Fill and see the bird, and we got even better views of the trio about fifteen feet away. Connie pointed out the semipalmated feet, neat to see. The bird was about the size of a Western, the bill was much shorter and straighter. It looked stubby and thick. Legs were dark. It was noticeably paler than the Western or Least, and lacked the rufous of Western and earthy tones of Least. The semipalmated also had a faint washed buffy tone, and quite uniform scales on the scapulars. I may never be as close to a Semipalmated Sandpiper as today. When I left it was still at the North end, though at a glance I didn't see the Least and Western. I'd say you'd have a good chance at the bird in the evening or later afternoon. Fun Lifer!
There was also a Red-breasted Nuthatch calling from East Point. They are surprisingly rare at the Fill, probably due mostly to the lack of conifers. This was the second time one has been heard this year at the Fill, and great to hear it with Whitney and Larry.