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Checklist S25139510

 
Location
Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually NWR, Thurston County, Washington, US ( Map ) ( Hotspot )
Date and Effort
Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:25 PM
Protocol:
Traveling
Party Size:
1
Duration:
2 hour(s), 40 minute(s)
Distance:
3.0 mile(s)
Observers:
Doug Martin
Species
42 species (+3 other taxa) total
X
X
3
5
25
75
10
130
3
1
1

I was birding along the main dike about 100 yards east of where the boardwalk begins, scanning the raised points and eddies on the saltwater mud flats to the north. On one of the fingers that extended to the west there were several peeps including about two dozen Least and Western sandpipers and at least 1 Bairds. There were also about 10 Dowitchers and 30-40 Green-winged Teal. The tide was rising and at about 80%, pushing birds into an increasingly smaller area. The group was apx 80 yards away.
In the midst of this group there was a single bird that was resting with its head folded back and tucked. It was facing directly away from me. I first noticed its unusual coloring and size along with its relatively long legs. The bird was much larger than the nearby group of peeps and closer in size to adjacent dowitchers. Its coloration was dark brown on the back with lighter rich buffy edges and golden yellow spotting giving the bird an over all speckled look. The bird was stocky and round with long legs that appeared to be light gray. Its wingtips folding over the tail portion showing a contrasting black. I watched the bird for about 5 minutes in my scope set at apx 50x waiting for it to move. Finally the bird stood fully upright, turned to the side and stretched a bit. I immediately noticed its large rounded head with stubby black bill (for its overall size). It was obviously a plover by shape. It had an overall buffy/golden wash covering its head, neck, face. Its large black eye was set of by a lighter eye-stripe that quickly faded behind the eye and enhanced its slightly darker crown.
While struggling with my phone in an attempt to digi-scope the bird, it took off with 6 dowitchers making a single clear whistle like, rising “k-weet” call. In flight the bird had no real distinctive markings a slightly darker tail and rump and a faint wing stripe.
Overall I watched the bird for about 7 minutes mostly with my scope and also with my 10x Swarovsky bins. I have seen Pacific Golden Plovers before on at least 4 occasions in similar plumage and am certain of this ID
Edit: I should add why I ruled out Black-bellied and American Golden Plovers (thank you CW) This bird had a warm golden wash on the face and on the breast that I've never seen in BBPL and I don't think should show on AGPL. There was no black at the base of the underwing (wing pit) Also it called when it took off... A clear rising k-weet which I believe separates it out.

15
15
12
12
2
3
25
X
X
Western x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid)
120
gull sp.
2
7
2
5
1
1
1
1
25
American/Northwestern Crow
3
5
3
1
2
1
150
4
3
5
7
6
1
4
4
 

Are you submitting a complete checklist of the birds you were able to identify?

Yes