Semipalmated Sandpiper on Ballona Creek: Update!!
These truly are crazy times. During a bike ride this morning along the creek, I found another Semipalmated Sandpiper. From never seen west of the L.A. River to twice in a week. This time, it was between Centinela Avenue and Inglewood Avenue, the section of the creek a block from my house. Odds are it’s the same bird I saw on Monday. The creek doesn’t strike me as a particularly bountiful spot for long-distance migrants to layover, but what do I know? One advantage of shorebird watching on the creek, compared to the L.A. River, is the chance to get closer to the birds. This bird got close enough to me that I was able to get a picture that showed the webbing between the toes.
But spying another Semipalmated is not the half of the update. The Semipalmated Sandpiper I saw on August 31st wasn’t an L.A. County lifer like I believed. It turns out that I found a Semipalmated Sandpiper on Ballona Creek–in the very same spot as I found one this morning–three weeks ago. At the time, I’d given this bird a close study, and got great photos. But I left unconvinced it was a Semipalmated for some reason that I can no longer recall. Life got in the way, and I never took a second, closer look at the photos on my computer until this morning. To my surprise, the bird I saw back on August 12th was indeed a Semipalmated Sandpiper. Is it possible that the same bird has been hanging around for 3 weeks on the creek? Is this even a one-bird theory question?