The surprise was a breeding plumaged Stilt Sandpiper in with the flock. This is one of my favorite shorebirds, and they are an odd sandpiper in the Calidris genus. But the feed like a dowitcher does and they act more like a yellowlegs. Stilt Sandpipers are very rare spring migrants in Maricopa County and throughout Arizona, and are uncommon in fall. The Glendale Ponds are a very reliable place to see them in the fall. On rare occasions, Maricopa County will get breeding plumaged Stilt Sandpipers during spring migration, but I don't think Glendale has had one. This was the first breeding plumaged Stilt Sandpiper I think I've ever seen, and what a treat it was! At first, it was standing in deeper water.
The Stilt Sandpiper eventually came around and stood on shallower ground, and really showed off it's true self and why it is named "Stilt".
I had another neat year bird and surprise actually where I parked by the bridge that overlooks a canal. I had a feeling to look over the bridge. Sure enough, a nice Solitary Sandpiper was below me! I don't get close up looks at this species very often either, so this was very awesome as well to have this opportunity with the Solitary.
White-faced Ibis are pretty cool. Melanie Herring recently found a Glendale first Glossy Ibis. There were quite a few White-faced today, which didn't contain my wanted Glossy. But the White-faced are still fun to see and watch.
I know that female Wilson's Phalaropes were a hot topic in my last post, but I really can't help looking at them and taking more photographs. What a striking bird!
Another Marbled Godwit had found it's way to Glendale...always cool!
It was a good day overall to be birding Glendale Recharge Ponds. I had 44 species, including 12 different shorebirds. The outing ended well with these two Great Horned Owls.