Date: 8/13/19 9:48 pm
From: Craig Miller <gismiller...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Sandpipers at Basket Slough WR this morning (Possible Curlew Sandpiper)
Hi Don,

I don't know if you have gotten any personal replies yet, but here is my
impression. The bill is not typical for Western Sandpiper. The shape and
plumage pattern of the bird is consistent with non-breeding Dunlin and
Curlew Sandpiper. The best way to tell the difference between Dunlin and
Curlew Sandpiper in this plumage is the bill shape. The bill on Curlew
Sandpipers are slender at the tip. The bill in your bird(s) appears to be
nearly uniformly thick all the way to the tip. It is always a little risky
to call a bird without a size comparison, but from what I can tell, it is a

I don't see the rufous scapulars that Bob Archer mentioned.


Craig Miller

On Mon, Aug 12, 2019 at 1:36 PM J D REIMERBERG, J REIMER-BERG <
<donjenrb...> wrote:

> I slogged into Mofitti Marsh at Basket Slough this morning. I found a
> nice selection of sandpipers when I got there, even though I had seen only
> 2 of each: Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets and Coyotes from Morgan Lake.
> Once I was down to the marsh I saw Greater Yellowlegs along with a Lesser
> and several Dowitchers. Swimming near them was a Red-Necked Phalarope. In
> the mud with a few Lesser Yellowlegs was a Semipalmated Plover.
> When I settled down to study the peeps. I quickly noticed that there were
> a couple of them wading further out in the water from the rest. I thought
> maybe they were Curlew Sandpipers. They seemed larger to me, but they were
> further out in the water than the others, so I wasn't sure. My reaction
> through the scope was that they were the longest billed Westerns that I
> remembered seeing. I took as many pictures as I could, but my cell phone
> through the scope technique isn't so great in the bright sunlight. I also
> picked out a Semipalmated sandpiper amongst the other peeps.
> Could some of you peep experts have a look at my photos and put my mind to
> rest about them being Westerns and crash my dreams of finding a pair of
> Curlew Sandpipers.
> thanks,
> Don Berg

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