Verification of Unusual
Rec. # 2006-59
|Scientific name:||Phalaropus fulicaria|
|Date:||November 11 2006|
|Time:||3:30 to approximately 5:00|
|Length of time observed:||1 1/2 hours|
Antelope Island Causeway: Great Salt Lake
|Distance to bird:||from edge of causeway road to bank of Great Salt Lake (sorry I am an artist, not a numbers person)|
|Optical equipment:||Binocs old Nikon 7 X 35; Scope KOWA Prominar TSN-4; Camera Nikon CoolPix 8800|
|Weather:||overcast, rainy, wet, probably in the 40's ?|
|Light Conditions:||very low light|
|Description: Size of bird:||medium sandpiper size; larger than peep, smaller than dotwitcher|
|(Description:) Basic Shape:||oval|
|(Description:) Overall Pattern:||
lovely soft gray mantle and wings with soft whitish edging on wings, tail a
medium brown; belly, neck, head a wonderful white - very soft and pristine: dark
almost black patch through and under
eye; dark bill; gray reached up the back of neck and forms an partial creast on top of head
|(Description:) Bill Type:||medium length bill with slight bulb at tip: shorter than length of head|
Field Marks and
Most field marks described above.
Short neck which it kept tucked in probably due to weather: having never observed the bird in wild I assume it will at times stretch out the neck.
The legs are relatively short. It was very boyant as to be expected.
The phalarope would casually swim in the GSL ,close to the causeway bank for 5 minutes, then get on the causeway bank and walk a bit, then get back on the water for another 5 minutes, and so on. It repeated this pattern from approximately the middle of the causeway, moving east for the entire 1 1/2 hours or more that I observed it.
It finally departed in one quick flight east & north.
I would climb in the back of my 4 runner, open the side window, shoot it, look through the scope, draw and paint, then move the 4 runner backwards until the bird was again visible through the passenger window with my scope angled to the west. I would follow the bird moving the camera and scope east until it had moved far enough east to be only visible through the glass of the the cargo area of the 4 runner. Then I would climb in the front seat, back up the car until I had the bird and window positioned for viewing as described above and repeat my frantic shooting, and attempting to paint.
I took over 100 photos.
I have submitted photos, field studies and previous painting of red phalarope to show how familiar I would be with the shape.
|Song or call & method of delivery:||none|
|Habitat:||stinky edge of great salt lake|
were they eliminated:
I was at first confused by the Sibley drawings because he shows edging on the
coverts - I believe they are the coverts not tertials. It shows in the photos
and my field studies. Sibley was the only book I had in the 4 runner. Plus the
tail is dark and that is how he shows the red-necked in the book . I think
Sibley drawings are incorrect.
When I returned home I checked my National Geographic Field Guide, The Audubon Society Master Guide to Birding, The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds, and Shorebirds: A Complete Guide to Their Behavior and Migration by Alan Richards.
The photo in the Audubon Encyclopedia of North American Birds had me more convinced it was a red phalarope.
I then searched photos on the web.
I submitted my photos to Ella Sorenson and she confirmed it to be most definitely a red phalarope.
I am noticing now that the red is the only of the three that have the slight bulbous tip to the bill.
this & similar species:
|I photographed both red-necked and red phalaropes at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and have painted both species from those photos. So as soon as I saw the shape of the bill it was very much the shape of the red phalarope I had painted. I knew then it was a phalarope.|
|References consulted:||Mentioned above [National Geographic Field Guide, The Audubon Society Master Guide to Birding, The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds, and Shorebirds: A Complete Guide to Their Behavior and Migration by Alan Richards. The photo in the Audubon Encyclopedia of North American Birds]|
|Description from:||Notes taken at time of sighting|
|Observer's address:||3884 Packsaddle Circle, Park City, Utah|
|Observer's e-mail address:||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Other observers who independently identified this bird:||Ella Sorenson looked at the photos by email.|
|Date prepared:||December 5, 2006|
|Additional material:||Photos and drawing|