Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2005-43

Common name:

Red Phalarope

Scientific name: Phalaropus fulicaria
Date: October 10, 2005
Time: 2:30 P.M.
Length of time observed: 20 to 30 minutes
Number: 2
Age: adult - non breeding
Sex: unknown
Location: Antelope Island causeway on the Great Salt Lake near the pullout by the memorial
County: Davis
Elevation: 4200 ft
Distance to bird: 100 feet?
Optical equipment: Panasonic FZ20 with Raynox 2.2 teleconversion lens, Bausch & Lomb 8x42 binos
Weather: Partly cloudy, cold and windy
Light Conditions: Sunny
Description:        Size of bird: 8.5 inches
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Phalarope-like (?)
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Gray and white
(Description:)            Bill Type: Dark and heavy
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Lots of white on the head, neck and flanks. Black or dark gray strip on nape connecting to gray back. Semi-circle of dark gray on top of the head. Black wingtips. Dark short stripe coming back from the eye. Flanks white. A little gray on sides. White fringe on lower scapulars and subscapulars. Black on primaries. Mantle gray. Short legs.  (see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: None
Behavior: Bobbing in the waves next to shore then coming on shore. One looked like it was looking for place to sleep as it nestled in the sand occasionally. Both looked like they were eating.
Habitat: Sandy beach on the Great Salt Lake.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Red-necked Phalarope. Bill was not needle-like, which I first noticed and made me suspect it might be a Red and certainly not a Wilson's. Short legs. After seeing and photographing so
many Wilson's I knew this was something different. After I got home and looked at the photos I took I thought I'd ask the experts so I posted the photos for opinions. "Red" was the only answer I got from knowledgeable birders.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
None and I had seen the red-necked a few times and photographed it once.
References consulted: Petersons Guide and Sibley's Guide.
Description from: Notes taken at time of sighting
Observer: Carol Davis
Observer's address: 4463 Summerwood St., Salt Lake City, Utah
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: None. Mark Stackhouse observed the photos and stated it was a Red Phalarope.
Date prepared: 10-13-05
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: