Date: 6/4/18 10:43 am From: Terry Bronson <tbronsonbirds...> Subject: Likely Sanderlings at Gallipolis Ferry
I was very surprised to find 3 small shorebirds this morning at the Gallipolis Ferry gravel pit on Plymale Lane, in addition to 5 Killdeers, 1 Herring Gull, and an Osprey incubating on the nest on top of the boom of the disused crane.
Even though the birds were seen at 60 power through my scope they were smaller than the Killdeers. They were in brownish breeding plumage, had dark legs and an average length dark bill, and behaved like Sanderlings by running along the edge of the water while advancing and retreating from the wavelets generated by the pumps in the pit. They also had the long lean look of Sanderlings. I think the combination of these characteristics rules out White-rumped, Baird's, and other sandpipers. Unfortunately, something flushed all the shorebirds and they flew off and did not return within 5 minutes.
There are no eBird records of Sanderling in WV in June, though there may be a personal record or two not entered in eBird.
Interestingly, I saw 5 Sanderlings last year on June 3 at Cumberland, MD, so the date is definitely possible.
At Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam and the Apple Grove Fish Hatchery there was nothing unusual.