Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2005-33

Common name:

Wandering Tattler

Scientific name: Heteroscelus incanus
Date: 18 Sep 2005
Time: ~ 4:30 PM
Length of time observed: 10 minutes
Number: 1
Age: adult
Location: Antelope Island Causeway
County: Davis
Distance to bird: 25 - 40 feet
Optical equipment: 8 x 42 binoculars, 20 x 60 Kowa scope
Weather: clear
Light Conditions: bright
Description:        Size of bird: ~ Killdeer size
(Description:)       Basic Shape: shorebird
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: gray with white belly and vent
(Description:)            Bill Type: medium long shorebird type
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
The head was gray with prominent white supralorals, a white eye-ring split horizontally by a black eye-stripe that extended backward about and eye width and forward to the lores where it was very broad and dark.

The wings were gray with black tips which extended slightly past the tail.  The back, wing coverts neck and breast  extending along the flanks were a very smooth, consistent gray.  There was a patch of white on the throat  and an unstreaked white belly and vent area. 

The legs where a yellow orange color and relatively short compared to the tringa sandpipers.
(see photos)

Song or call & method of delivery: none heard
Behavior: It was bobbing its tail as it moved along the rocks next to the shore eating the numberous bugs (midges) on the rocks. 
Habitat: Shore of a salt water lake
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Either Yellowlegs would have had longer legs and longer necks and more patter on the back, wings and breast.and narrower pointed bills.

A Solitary Sandpiper would have an unbroken eye-ring, a smaller bill, and more spotted contrasting black-gray colors on the back and wings.

A Willet would have a thicker longer bill, gray legs, and longer neck.

Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I've seen one before in Utah near the marina not far from where this one was and also in Hawaii.
References consulted: The Sibley Guide to Birds
Description from: From memory and looking at the picture I took.
Observer: Milton Moody
Observer's address: 2795 Indian Hills Dr., Provo, UT  84604
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Pomera Fronce found the bird on the 11th of Septerber. Cindy & Steve Sommerfeld, Tim Avery, Colby Newman, Carol Davis, Brian Currie, Tuula Rose, Eric Huish and Bonnie Williams also observed this bird.
Date prepared: 19 Sep 2005
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: