At 6:40 P.M. tonight, Rick Tyler posted that he was looking at the Solitary Sandpiper that Houston Flores had reported earlier this afternoon at the retention ponds north of Perrigo Park in Redmond. I had never even heard of Perrigo Park and was completely unfamiliar with the area (as soon became obvious). What the heck, it was a beautiful night and Solitary Sandpiper was on my want list for the state this year.
By 7:25 p.m. I had pulled into the Park’s parking area and started looking for ponds. I met some nice folks who had never seen any ponds. I saw no ponds – not even any water. Some really nice play fields though. So I emailed Rick and asked him to call as I needed help. If I had paid attention to Houston’s Tweeters post, I would have saved myself some trouble and looked north of the park as opposed to all through it and then to the south (the other north?).
Rick called and clarified the situation – the ponds are actually just north of 95th before you make the turn onto 196th to get to the Park itself. I was now almost a mile away. I jogged back to the car and drove to the right spot. I quickly found the ponds and in the smaller pond, I quickly found the Solitary Sandpiper exactly where Rick had found it about two hours earlier. The light was already dimming (what happened to that longest day on June 21st with sunlight past 10:00??!!) and I only had my point and shoot camera – but I got a fun photo. No mistaking this identity.
This was a new species in Washington state this year. This meets another goal (admittedly arbitrary) for the year. Goal 1 was 100 species in one day. Goal 2 was my 200th County bird in Kittitas County. Goal 3 was 300 species in the State of Washington for the year. This Solitary Sandpiper is it.
I am one away from goal number 4 (hopefully to be written up later this year) and in 5 days I leave for Arizona where I hope to meet goals 5 and 6 and just possibly get within striking distance of goal 7. Stay tuned.
Solitary Sandpiper – Another Photo