Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2007-35

Common name:


Scientific name: Philomachus pugnax
Date: Oct. 21, 2007
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Length of time observed: 15-20 minutes
Number: 1
Age: juvenile
Location: Antelope Island Causeway
County: Davis
Distance to bird: 30 yards
Optical equipment: Pentax 10x50 binoculars, Nikon 8x42 binoculars, B & L 15x60 Scope
Weather: 45 degrees, light breeze
Light Conditions: bright, late afternoon sun
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Compared to nearby birds, the bird was about the size of a Killdeer, and much larger than a Baird's Sandpiper. The head and upper breast were a very bright buff color. The rich buffy wash on the breast was unmarked and faded to off-white at mid-breast. The head had a slightly darker brownish buff cap. The bill was black, short and tapered, and appeared slightly longer than the head. The base of the bill was paler than the rest of the face. Dark eye, no discernable eyebrow stripe. Scaly pattern on back and wings was brown buff, with a rufous tinge. Sparse brown streaking on the extreme side of the upper breast, which did not extend below the shoulder. Wings same length as tail. The tertials were quite obvious as they freely lifted and blew in
the breeze. The belly and undertail were off-white and unmarked. Legs were long and yellow-green. Body looked plump. A brief glimpse of the bird's tail while flying hinted at the white "U" on upperside, but view was not clear.
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: Very active feeding on mudflat.
Habitat: Salt water mudflat.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
None buffy Pectoral Sandpiper has streaked breast with strong ending line. Buff-breasted Sandpiper is smaller, slender, with upright posture, with a shorter thinner bill, dark spots on side of breast, and neat tertials. Baird's Sandpiper is much smaller and has black legs. Juvenile Sharp-tailed Sandpiper is smaller, has breast streaking, is too rufous, and has distinct eyebrow.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Ruff: Dec. 23, 2001, Box Elder Co. Feb. 15, 2004, Farmington Bay WMA
Buff-breasted Sandpiper: Sept. 3, 1995, AI Causeway
ST Sandpiper: September 2001, California October 14, 2007, AI Causeway
Pectoral, Baird's Sandpipers: numerous sightings this year and past years
References consulted: Sibley, Nat'l Geographic
Description from: Notes taken at time of sighting
Observer: Kathy Beyer and Joel Beyer
Observer's address: 1719 Hillcrest Ave., Salt Lake City, UT 84106
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: Oct. 22, 2007
Additional material:  
Additional Comments: