7-B-2017 Red Knot

STATUS
Accepted
DATE VOTING COMPLETED
1ST ROUND
7-0
HOW MANY OBSERVED?
1 Adult in breeding plumage
DATE SIGHTING OCCURRED
DATE REPORT PREPARED
REPORTER
Cliff Weisse
OTHER OBSERVERS
Lisa Weisse
same contact info
LOCALITY OF OBSERVATION
Island Park Reservoir
Fremont County
HABITAT WHERE THE BIRD WAS OBSERVED
Shoreline consisting of mud with some grass and willows.
SIGHTING DURATION, CONDITIONS, and EQUIPMENT USED
Length of observation about 30 minutes. Distance about 40 yards with Nikon 10x binocs and Swarovski 80mm scope with 20-60x eyepiece. Sun was high in the sky and from the side of the bird. Wind was light and sky was clear. Temp about 60 degrees.
DID YOU TAKE NOTES?
No, not at all
DID YOU CONSULT A FIELD GUIDE OR OTHER REFERENCE WORK?
Yes, later the same day
WHICH GUIDE(S) OR REFERENCE(S): DID YOU CONSULT?
Sibley 2001
DESCRIPTION OF THE BIRD(s)
Smallish shorebird larger than a peep or Sanderling (present for comparison) and similar in size to Killdeer (also present for comparison). Body was chunky. Bill was black and kind of long, heavy (though not as heavy as Willet), tapered towards the tip and slightly drooping. Upper parts gray with some scaps having orange center, black bars across the feathers, black shaft streak, and white tips giving the upperparts a brightly patterned gray/black/orange/white appearance. Nape and crown mottled gray. Face, sides of neck, breast, flanks, and belly back to the legs were clean orange with no streaks or barring. Vent, real flanks and undertail coverts white with black spots on rear of flanks. Legs were dark but I could not say what color.
BEHAVIOR OF THE BIRD(s)
Foraging by probing in ground on edge of reservoir. Did not move around much, spending all the time we were there going back and forth along about 20 feet of shoreline.
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU POSITIVELY IDENTIFY THE BIRD, AND WHAT CLINCHED THE IDENTIFICATION FOR YOU?
I first saw the bird standing still and partially screened by willows. I could see it was larger than a nearby Sanderling and was kind of chunky bodies. I moved to the side until I had an unobstructed view and could see the patterned upperparts, contrast between pale crown and darker face, and longish heavy bill so I suspected Red Knot. When I finally could make out a hint of orange on the flanks I knew my suspicion was correct.
HOW DID YOU ELIMINATE SIMILAR SPECIES? WHAT WERE THEY?
No other shorebird could be easily confused with breeding Red Knot. Short-billed Dowitcher is similar in overall pattern but has a much longer bill, flanks and breast sides with black markings, and usually less white below (at least the expected cuarinus ssp has less white).
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THIS (AND SIMILAR) SPECIES?
Limited to one observation each of breeding (3 individuals), non-breeding adult (4 individuals), and one juvenile. I've spent quite a bit of time studying dowitchers during spring migration at this location for approximately the past 15 years.
DESCRIBE YOUR GENERAL BIRDING EXPERIENCE
Roughly 24 years. I'd say I'm an advanced intermediate level birder regarding shorebird identification.
WERE PHOTO(S), VIDEO, AND/OR AUDIO OBTAINED FROM THIS SIGHTING?
Photo
Video
SUPPORTING IMAGES
SUPPORTING VIDEOS

FIRST ROUND VOTING:

Jay Carlisle
Accept

Diagnostic pics of unmistakable bird

Shirley Sturts
Accept

well documented including photo and video

Darren Clark
Accept

Photo and video are good

Dave Trochlell
Accept

Excellent and convincing report!

Doug Ward
Accept

Great report with all key field marks mentioned. Diagnostic photo and video support an accept vote.

Carl Lundblad
Accept

Diagnostic photos, video, and detailed written description. No provenance issues.

Steve Butterworth
Accept

Well documented report. Photo, video and description all confirm proper identification of a alternate plumage Red Knot.