Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2019-25

Common name:

Wandering Tattler

Scientific name: Tringa incana
Date: 08-28-2019
Time: 8:00am
Length of time observed: 15 minutes
Number: 1
Age: ?
Sex: ?
Location: Antelope Island Causeway
County: Davis
Latilong: 41.067057, -112.230305
Elevation: 4200ft
Distance to bird: 10-50m
Optical equipment: Nikon 10x42 binoculars
Weather: sunny
Light Conditions: good
Description:        Size of bird: 10 inches
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Typical shorebird
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: uniform slate grayish
(Description:)            Bill Type: long and straight
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
As I was counting the Willets gathered at the bridge feeding, I noted a Tringa with bright Yellow Legs mixed in with the Willets. It was uniformly slate gray on the upperside, without any white in the wings or tail, and very smooth, not scaled, barred, streaked or spotted like a Yellowlegs. It had a paler grayish breast and belly, and prominent supercilium and dark eyeline and a long straight bill. Additionally, as it walked among the rocks it would teeter like a Spotted Sandpiper, though not as often or dramatically.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: None heard
Behavior: Feeding on brineflies and preening on rocks
Habitat: Rocks of causeway on the shore of the Great Salt Lake
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Willet-direct comparison, much larger with much longer gray legs and overall a paler shade of gray, and prominent black and white wings and tail

Greater Yellowlegs-different structure with longer legs and more slender with longer neck with more upright posture, bill not as thick and stout. Prominent barring, scaling, streaking and spotting in plumage, contrasting whitish rump, unlike this bird

Gray-tailed Tattler-mostly by range, but also apparently paler, especially on the underside, with a higher contrast supercilium and often some pinkish in the bill base
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
None with any Tattlers, I've seen many thousands of Willets and Yellowlegs
References consulted: eBird, Audubon 'Birds of North America' 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: many
Date prepared: 08-28-19
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: eBird checklist: