Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2018-50

Common name:

Red Phalarope

Scientific name: Phalaropus fulicarius
Date: 10-04-2018
Time: 10:15am
Length of time observed: 5 minutes
Number: 1
Age: adult-non-breeding plumage
Sex:  ?
Location: Antelope Island Causeway
County: Davis
Elevation: 4200ft
Distance to bird: 100m
Optical equipment: 10x42 Binos, Kowa Spotting Scope, Canon SX60 Digital Camera
Weather: Overcast, windy, 58F
Light Conditions: Good
Description:        Size of bird: 8.5in
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Typical Phalarope
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: gray back, white underside
(Description:)            Bill Type: short,stout
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
First noticed a wading Phalarope on the mudflats with Killdeer, immediately struck by how large it seemed,almost as big as the Killdeer and much bigger than Least Sandpipers nearby. Overall very pale with a smooth pale gray back without any streaking, some black on the lower outer edge of the back. Also seemed very plump and thick necked. Bill was stout and thick with a blunt tip, not coming to a fine point. Had a faint salmon wash to the upper breast and neck. Also noted faint pinkish color to the legs and feet. Had a black line behind the eye.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: None heard
Behavior: Walking on mudflats with Killdeer and Peeps. Many Jets were flying over repeatedly spooking the birds, eventually flock flushed and unable to relocate Phalarope.
Habitat: Saltwater mudflats of the Great Salt Lake, north side of the causeway
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Red-Necked Phalarope are very similar, but smaller and slimmer, with a longer thinner bill that comes to a fine needle like point at the tip. Also the back has some gray, black and white streaking.

Wilson's Phalarope are larger, have longer thinner bill, lack black eyeline, and have yellow legs
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Yes, I've seen 2 in Utah before, many hundreds of thousands of Red-necked and Wilson's Phalarope.
References consulted: Sibley, Audubon Birds app
Description from: From photo(s) taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Bryant Olsen
Observer's address: 84102
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Max Malmquist was with me
Date prepared: 10-4-18
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: eBird checklist: