Thursday, September 14, 2006

Spotted Redshank

On this day in 1978, C. Clark and P. Fahey found a Spotted Redshank at Brigantine NWR. This bird remained until 28 September 1978, then moved on, but it returned the following year from 28 September to 8 October 1979. The only other record of Spotted Redshank in NJ is from 22-23 October 1993, also at Brig. The most notorious "Spotted Redshank" in NJ birding history, however, might be the 1973 Brig bird that turned out to be an oiled Greater Yellowlegs (Kaufman 1997, Smith 1974).

Mlodinow (1999) gives an extensive account of Spotted Redshank occurrence in North America. By far the most records come from the Aleutians, but eastern North America has quite a few as well. Mlodinow suggests that eastern Spotted Redshanks may come across the continent, ultimately originating in Asia.

This species' showy black alternate plumage is briefly held, so that birders hoping for a redshank in NJ are best advised to scrutinize yellowlegs carefully.

Kaufman, Kenn. 1997. Kingbird Highway. Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Mlodinow, Steven G. 1999. Spotted Redshank and Common Greenshank in North America. North American Birds 53:124-130.
Smith, P. William, Jr. 1974. Spotted Redshank Vs. Soiled Yellowlegs. Birding 6:84-86.

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