Shorebirds of 2018 (and Before)

Fall migration is in full swing and the last few weeks have been great for shorebirds in Western Washington – the impetus for writing this post.

Washington is an excellent state for shorebirds – some breeders, lots of migrants and occasionally a rare vagrant.  Altogether, sixty-one species have been seen in the state of which 16 are rare to exceedingly rare vagrants – some seen only a single time.  Migrating shorebirds come through in both in the spring (roughly March through May) and again in the Fall (roughly July through September although there is some carryover into October).  Because of the tidal mudflats and seashore habitats, far more species and individuals of  shorebirds are seen in Western Washington than Eastern Washington but a couple – Black Necked Stilt and American Avocet are common East and rare West and Wilson’s Phalaropes and Long Billed Curlews are somewhat more common in the East.

Of the 61 species ever reported in Washington, I have been fortunate to have seen 48 with the remaining 13 quite rare indeed.  I may someday see a few of them but I would be surprised if it will be more than a few, at least in the State itself.  In fact in all of my birding elsewhere in the ABA area, I have seen only three of those missing 13 species.  So far in 2018, I have seen 41 shorebird species in Washington.  The seven seen previously but not this year are:  Hudsonian Godwit, Wood Sandpiper,  Lesser Sand Plover, Red Necked Stint, White Rumped Sandpiper, Upland Sandpiper and Wilson’s Plover.  I have seen the latter three elsewhere this year.  All of the others save the Hudsonian Godwit (regular in the Central Flyway) are extremely rare anywhere in the U.S. except in Alaska where only the Red Necked Stint is seen regularly.

Washington has good migration in both the Spring and the Fall but more species are seen in the Fall.  As I said, my shorebirding has been very good the past week or two.  Among the best species seen were Buff Breasted. Pectoral, Baird’s, Semipalmated and Sharp Tailed Sandpipers, American and Pacific Golden Plovers, Ruff, and Red Necked Phalarope.  Here are photos of the shorebirds seen this year, in Washington, others out of State in 2018, others out of State prior to 2018 and then lists of birds not seen.

Washington Shorebirds – 2018

Black Oystercatcher – Fort Flagler SP – February 22, 2018

Black Oystercatcher Wings

Black Bellied Plover – Tulalip Spit – September 11, 2018

Black Bellied Plovers1

Snowy Plover – Grayland Beach – January 28, 2018

Snowy Plove 1

Killdeer – Hoquiam STP – May 3, 2018

Killdeer

Whimbrel – Camano Island Rekdal Road – May 13, 2018

Whimbrel2

Long Billed Curlew – Nisqually NWR – July 5, 2018 (No photo this is from Bottle Beach – September 2015)

Long Billed Curlew 2 Bottle Beach

Bar Tailed Godwit – Hayton Preserve – June 26, 2018 (No photo then – this photo is from Westport Marina – August 2018)

Bar Tailed Godwit2

Marbled Godwit – Bottle Beach – August 11, 2018

Marbled Godwit 2 Bottle Beach

Buff Breasted Sandpiper – Ocean Shores Game Range – September 23, 2018 – (No photo then – this photo is from Midway Beach 2012)

Buff Breasted SP2

Pectoral Sandpiper – Ocean Shores Game Range – September 23, 2018

Pectoral Sandpiper1

Semipalmated Sandpiper – Eide Road – May 13, 2018 (Photo from same spot – September 2014)

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Baird’s Sandpiper – Wiley Slough – August 24, 2018 

Baird's Sandpipers

Semipalmated Plover – Open Beach South of Westport – August 11, 2018

Semipalmated Plover1 Open Beach

Red Knot – Bottle Beach – May 18, 2018

Red Knot

Sharp Tailed Sandpiper – Wylie Slough – September 20, 2018

Sharp Tailed SP2

American Golden Plover – Ocean Shores Game Range – September 23, 2018

American Golden Plover1

Pacific Golden Plover – Ocean Shores Game Range – September 23, 2018

Pacific Golden Plover2

Ruff – Jakle’s Lagoon – San Juan Island – July 16, 2018

Ruff6

American Avocet – Redmond, WA – May 5, 2018

American Avocet

Ruddy Turnstone – Bottle Beach – May 3, 2018

Ruddy Turnstone1

Dunlin – Ocean Shores Game Range – September 23, 2018

Dunlin1

Sanderling – Open Beach South of Westport – August 11, 2018

SAnderling Open Beach

Solitary Sandpiper – Puyallup – July 24, 2018

Solitary Sandpiper

Greater Yellowlegs – Three Crabs – September 19, 2018

Yellowlegs and Yellow Flowers1

Lesser Yellowlegs – Wylie Slough – August 24, 2018

Lesser Yellowlegs

Willet – Tokeland Marina – August 11, 2018

Willet Tokeland

Black Turnstone – Ocean Shores Pt. Brown Jetty – September 23, 2018

Black Turnstone

Wandering Tattlers – Westport Jetty – August 1, 2018

Wandering Tattlers on Jetty2 Pelagic

Rock Sandpiper – Ocean Shores Pt. Brown Jetty – January 3, 2018

Rock Sandpiper Fort Flagler

Surfbird – Ocean Shores Pt. Brown Jetty – January 3, 2018

Surfbird

Western Sandpiper – Jakle’s Lagoon – San Juan Island – July 16, 2018

Western Sandpiper4

Short Billed Dowitcher – Bottle Beach – May 18, 2018

Short Billed Dowitcher

Long Billed Dowitchers – Wylie Slough – August 24, 2018

Long Billed Dowitchers

Wilson’s Snipe – Ridgefield NWR – January 7, 2018

Wilson's Snipe2

Wilson’s Phalarope – County Line Ponds – May 19, 2018

Wilson's Phalarope1

Red Necked Phalarope – Westport Pelagic – August 12, 2018

Red Necked Phalarope

Red Phalarope – Westport Pelagic – August 12, 2018

Red Phalarope

Black Necked Stilt – County Line Ponds – April 19, 2018

Black Necked Stilts

Spotted Sandpiper – Oso Loop Road – July 10, 2018

Spotted Sandpiper Breeding

Stilt Sandpiper – Wylie Slough – August 24, 2018

Stilt Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper – Tokeland Marina – January 27, 2018

Least Sandpiper (2)

Outside of Washington in 2018

American Oystercatcher – Salt Pond, North Carolina – May 31, 2018

American Oystercatcher

Wilson’s Plover – Corpus Christi, TX – April 3, 2018 (In WA in October 2012)

Wilson's Plover 1

Piping Plover – Corpus Christi, TX – April 3, 2018

Piping Plover 1

Upland Sandpiper – King Ranch, TX – April 6, 2018 (In WA – September 2013)

Upland Sandpiper

White Rumped Sandpiper – Rodanthe, North Carolina – May 30, 2018

White Rumped Sandpiper Flight

Shorebirds Seen Earlier than 2018 but Not This Year (Washington and Elsewhere)

Lesser Sand Plover – Open Beach above Ocean Shores – August 16, 2015

Lesser Sand Plover 5

Red Necked Stint – Crockett Lake, Whidbey Island, WA – July 8, 2017

Red Necked Stint 3

Mountain Plover – Colorado – April 7, 2016

5a-Mountain Plover in Flight

Far Eastern Curlew – Adak, Alaska – May 29, 2016

Far Eastern Curlew and Whimbrel

Hudsonian Godwit – Semiahmoo Spit – September 29, 2015

Hudsonian Godwit (2)

Purple Sandpiper – Kitty Islet, Victoria, B.C. – January 12, 2017

Purple Sandpiper1

Common Snipe – Adak, Alaska – May 30, 2016

Common Snipe2

 

Shorebirds in ABA Area Seen but No Photographs 

American Woodcock Assateague Island National Seashore -MD 11-May-75
Bristle-thighed Curlew Nome River (Nome-Kougarok Rd) – AK 4-Jun-16
Northern Jacana Manor Lake, TX 25-Apr-78
Spotted Redshank Fort Stevens SP–South Jetty/Parking Area – OR
26-Feb-81
Wood Sandpiper Samish Flats–West 90 – WA 11-Aug-11

Washington Shorebirds Not Seen in State

Common Ringed Plover Great Knot
Curlew Sandpiper Jack Snipe
Eurasian Dotterel Gray Tailed Tattler
Little Stint Bristle Thighed Curlew 
Spotted Redshank Piping Plover
Temminck’s Stint Mountain Plover
Little Curlew
Italics – seen out of State

 

 

2 thoughts on “Shorebirds of 2018 (and Before)

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