#440 Baird’s Sandpiper

I slept in this morning, and consequently almost drove over to the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary for the monthly Sea & Sage Audubon Walk, but fortunately I decided there was still a good chance to pick up a BGBY species or two if I walked. Last month I drove over and consequently missed Sora and Rock Pigeon. However this time I did walk and consequently I can now count #440 Baird’s Sandpiper for my life, California, Orange County, and BGBY lists.

I have a list of target birds I’m looking for in the local area, but this wasn’t on it. It’s fun to still find completely surprising life birds within walking distance of my apartment. Baird’s are far from unknonw out here, but this was apparently the first one at SJWS in the last two years.

The Baird’s was hanging out on Pond C with dozens of Western Sandpipers. Earlier that morning some other birders had relocated a Semipalmated Sandpiper. However it seemed to have flown off before we got there. That would have been a California, Orange County, and BGBY bird; but not a lifer. It’s an Eastern species that’s very common at Jamaica Bay and other East Coast location, so I’ve seen them every since I started seriously tracking my lists.

Overall, we tallied just over 40 species:

  • Mallard
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Snowy Egret
  • Green Heron
  • Black-crowned Night-Heron
  • White-faced Ibis
  • Common Moorhen
  • American Coot
  • Killdeer
  • Black-necked Stilt
  • American Avocet
  • Western Sandpiper
  • Least Sandpiper
  • Baird’s Sandpiper
  • Long-billed Dowitcher
  • Wilson’s Phalarope
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Caspian Tern
  • Forster’s Tern
  • Black Skimmer
  • Mourning Dove
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Allen’s Hummingbird
  • Black Phoebe
  • American Crow
  • Common Raven
  • Tree Swallow
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  • Cliff Swallow
  • Bushtit
  • Marsh Wren
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • Song Sparrow
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Great-tailed Grackle
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • House Finch
  • Lesser Goldfinch

There was also one Bobcat sighting, as well as the usual collection of insects including Mexican Cactus Fly, Green June Beetle, Checkered White, Honeybee, and Gray Hairstreak.

The Baird’s brings my Orange County list up to par with my Kings County list at roughly 183 species each, though both of those lists include more than one introduced exotic, so I’m not sure who’s really out in front.

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