Because I don’t have the official tallies from Cumberland Farms, I’m going to post about the Curlew Sand, even though it happened after Cumies.

Birthday birding is something I’ve always enjoyed. And this year it was extra special, as my B-day was 10/10/10! The plan for today was amibitous, tiring but really fun.

After Cumies, Jim Orrico, Dave Hursh and I moved north to Parker River NWR where a Curlew Sandpiper, a rare but annual Eurasian species was being seen. Making it in good time, we began the walk out to Sandy Point. Once on the beach, we noticed a long line of tripods, all pointed the same direction. This must be it!

Soon, we were looking at a beautiful, basic plumaged, Curlew Sandpiper! Wow! For the next 30 minutes we sat and enjoyed the Curlew Sand as it rested and during a couple species moments, took its head out to look at the paparazzi, at least 30 strong that came out to enjoy it.

The Curlew Sandpiper was larger than all the birds around it, but because it was sleeping I couldn’t gauge structure well. It had a long, curved bill and almost seemed like a cross between a Dunlin and White-rumped Sandpiper that gained a little weight (and height for that matter!).


Curlew and Semipalmated Sandpiper



Curlew and others



An American Pipit also gave good looks

Curlew Sandpiper crowd

Other highlights included 7 Black Skimmers that remained from a hurricane a month ago, 1+ White-rumped Sandpipers, and fantastic looks at American Pipit foraging along the wrack line.

On the walk there and back, we encountered a Chipping Sparrow as well as a Dark-eyed Junco bumping up our sparrow total for the day to 8.


This entry was posted in Elsewhere Birding, Rarities. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 10/10/10! – CURLEW SANDPIPER, MA

  1. Deanna says:

    Was that the best birthday present you got or what!! So happy to know you got to see that beautiful bird and then actually get it on film for all of us to enjoy. Thanks for being such a great birder!

  2. Dave says:

    And get this Alex! I walked back for a few minutes after you left…And about 10 after you left, all the shorebirds took off in a massive frenzy and didn’t return, including the Curlew! Perfect timing for us! If we had arrived 20 minutes later, we would have missed it!

    Ha ha, “paparazzi!” Nice. Great day together, and Happy Birthday!!!!

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