Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2021-50

Common name:

White-rumped Sandpiper

Scientific name: Calidris fuscicollis
Date: 6/2/2021
Time: 7:00 PM
Length of time observed: 1 hour+
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Location: St. George Golf Club
County: Washington
Distance to bird: 10 m (at closest)
Optical equipment: 8x42 binoculars & 500 mm lens
Weather: Clear, warm
Light Conditions: Late afternoon/evening sun
Description:        Size of bird: Medium shorebird
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Mid-sized sandpiper (impression was larger than other peeps), mostly grayish-brown upperparts with areas of black and rufous. Wings projected noticeably beyond tail tip. Mostly dark, straight bill, roughly the same length as head. Reddish-orange base of lower mandible clearly visible. Head fairly contrasting with white supercilium and brownish crown. Underparts quite heavily streaked brown on chest continuing down flanks, transitioning to very pale, unstreaked belly and undertail coverts. Dark tail with distinctive white band across uppertail coverts. Dark legs.

Additional details:
When I arrived, the bird I suspected to be the White-rumped Sandpiper was foraging at the far end of one of the ponds, and it was almost immediately flushed by a Peregrine Falcon. It took over an hour of searching to find this bird again but it eventually returned to the same pond and I was able to eventually approach for close views/photos when I could safely approach (when golfers cleared out).

This bird was found by the Sommerfelds earlier in the day.
This is a busy golf course and birders were (understandably) reluctant to widely broadcast this observation at the time. I only recently realized that this observation has not yet been submitted to the UBRC.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: None heard
Behavior: Foraging while walking along bank and wading through shallows at edge of golf course pond. Also saw briefly in flight.
Habitat: Golf course pond
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Elimination: Baird's Sandpiper:
Eliminated by lack of white uppertail coverts, no streaking on flanks, and no reddish base of lower mandible.

All other shorebirds can be eliminated by that same combination of field marks.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
White-rumped Sandpiper: None
Baird's Sandpiper: I see multiple flocks of this species annually
Other similar species: Experience with all shorebirds that are semi-regular migrants through Washington County.
References consulted: Birds of the World Online
Sibley app
Description from: From memory
From photo(s) taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Mike Schijf
Observer's address: 109 South 330 West Ivins, UT
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Steve and Cindy Sommerfeld (original observers), Kevin Wheeler, Rick Fridell, John Schijf
Date prepared: 9/6/2021
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: