Date: 7/13/20 9:47 pm
From: David Bailey <davidcbaileyoregon...>
Subject: [obol] Juv. Semipalmated Sandpiper in Clatsop County (earliest juvenile Calidris for Oregon?)
Monday 13 July 2020
Clatsop County, Oregon

I took my daughters out to Trestle Bay via parking lot D at Fort Stevens
State Park east of the South Jetty of the Columbia River this evening so
they could swim and play and I could do some birding. The tide was high and
the island shores were flooded as well as the mudflats. There was still a
bit of shore along the near side and out east towards that end of the
peninsula.

The first bird I spotted was a lone Calidris sandpiper that surprisingly to
me turned out to be a colorful and fresh-plumaged juvenile SEMIPALMATED
SANDPIPER. I would think that this bird would have had to have hatched in
early June from an egg laid in early May. I don't have my Shorbirds of the
Pacific Northwest (Paulson) or Birds of Oregon a Greater Reference
(Marshall et al.) handy, but can't recall a record of a hatch-year juvenile
Calidris this early in Oregon before. I expect the adults to show up
sparingly but earlier than most adult Westerns and Least Sandpipers (Dave
and Kathy reported one in Coos yesterday and there have been several in
Eastern Oregon this month) because of their more southerly breeding range
followed by the first juveniles being Semipalmated, but not for another
week or ten days.

Two photographers and birders were out there coming back from the end of
the peninsula when I we were headed out and I immediately put them on to
the rare bird. They should have point blank full-frame shots as they were
able to crawl quite close to the SESA within 2 meters. I am hoping I can
get one of their snaps to share with everyone, as I only had the phone on
my camera and was not able to obtain any photos.

The Sandpiper was behaving like a typical youngster in that it wasn't
worried that it was alone (a flock of Western Sandpiper adults was flying
up and down the shoreline and being quite flighty when occasionally setting
down for a moment...), or that people were that approaching that close to
it.

I also was able to sight the second-year COMMON TERN that has been reported
previously out there. It was at the end of the peninsula with the Caspian
Tern and mixed California and Ring-billed Gull flock. Of additional note
were the first arrivals to the coast this year of about two dozen JUVENILE
CALIFORNIA GULLS in their lovely brown plumage including a rather light
variant. Juvenile gulls are really quite charming.

See my ebird report here:
https://ebird.org/checklist/S71456841

Bird on,

David

David C Bailey
Seaside, Oregon

 
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