Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 6-2000

Common name:

Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Scientific name: Tryngites subruficollis
Date: 4 Sept 2000
Time: 7:15 am
Length of time observed: 20 Minutes
Number: 1
Age: Juvenile
Sex: ??
Location: North end of Pruess Lake, south of Garrison, utah westside of highway 21
County: Millard
Latilong: ??
Elevation: ??
Distance to bird: 70 to 100 feet
Optical equipment:  
Weather: very nice -- wind 0-10, few hi clouds, 60 degrees
Light Conditions: Very good -- no shadows, morning light
Detailed description of bird: I was scoping (Kowa TNS4 20x30) the shorebirds -- least sandpipers, western sandpipers, killdeer, spotted sandpipers, and yellowlegs, when this one stood out. it was smaller than the yellowleg, but larger than the western sandpipers. It had a round head, short dark bill, a dark eye, no facial markings. The face, side of neck, fromt of neck, chest, and upper belly were all a soft buff. (the dictionary says buff is a soft yellow brown, which is the color we saw.) The lower belly and undertail coverts were white. The legs were yellow. The top of the head had dark, fine lines that appeared to extend down the back of the neck. The back and the scapulars had a very definite scaly effect with an off white outline on the edge of the feathers. We all had enough time to watch it through our binoculars and scopes and felt secure in calling it. An Osprey and a Peregrine were also at the lake and after a pass by the falcon all the shorebirds flew. We did not find it again. I did not see it fly, as I was watching the Peregrine.

We reported this bird to Fiona at the Great Basin National Park visitor center.

Song or call & method of delivery: None
Behavior: It was busy feeding, but not in the water like the least and westerns, but on the shoreline (mud).
Habitat: Shoreline, mud, of Pruess Lake.
Similar species and
how were they eliminated:
Ruff is much larger. Pectroal is wrong color and the Buff-breasted didn't have any of the streaks on the neck and chest like the pectoral.
Previous experience with this & similar species: None with Buff-breasted. Pectoral is a regular visitor through Las Vegas.
References consulted: Peterson Field Guides Western Birds, National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, Golden's Field Identification Birds of North America
Description from: Notes Taken at time of sighting few. Notes made later some. From memory most.
Observer: Rita Schlageter
Observer's address: 625 S. Tonopah Dr.
Observer's e-mail address:  
Other observers who independently identified
this bird:
Jim Healy, Hugh Hawkins, JeAnne Strott all of Las Vegas
Date prepared: 20 Sept 2000
Additional material:  

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