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Possible Redshank, Assateague Island (fwd)

Hi again,

Just noticed this on BIRDCHAT. I always thought Assateague was in VA, but 
this message claims the bird is in Maryland near Ocean City. Either way, 
it's almost close enough for a day trip from most of this area, if the 
report gets confirmed and the bird lingers...

---------------------------Forwarded Message--------------------------

Date:         Wed, 25 Aug 1999 10:20:48 EDT
Reply-To:     REWaldrop@AOL.COM
Sender:       "National Birding Hotline Cooperative (Chat Line)"
From:         Rick Waldrop <REWaldrop@AOL.COM>
Subject:      Re: [Marvadel] MD Spotted Redshank Info?
Comments: To: marvadel@egroups.com

To all interested parties in the details of the the possible redshank

Allow me to give some more specific details.

When:  Monday afternoon, August 23, around 5:30.

Where:  Assateague Island, just past the Hwy. 611 bridge, in the marshes to
the left (northeast) of the road.

Details:  After looking for the Kelp Gull in St. Mary's county, I decided to
drive over to Ocean City to look for shorebirds.  As I drove over the Hwy.
611 bridge toward Assateague Island, I came down to the flat area with "No
Stopping" signs all around but decided to stop anyway since there were four
or five other cars there.  I stopped on the right and scanned through the
marshes on both sides of the road and noticed some shorebirds to the left of
the road so I got out and crossed the road and began to walk up the shore of
the marsh in a northeasterly direction, roughly parallel to the road, looking
in the direction of Assateague Island.  After identifing several shorebirds
in this area (including a Whimbrel), I saw what I thought was an unusual
shorebird standing in the marsh at a distance of about 100 yards.  What
immediately struck me as being strange was the decided reddish color of the
legs.  After looking at it for a few minutes more I also detected a reddish
color at the base of the bill.  It was definitely a "Tringa" type of
shorebird, with long legs and slender build.  It reminded me of a Lesser
Yellowlegs, except with reddish legs and base of bill.  I was using Swavorsky
 10x42 binoculars.

Afraid that I would be apprehended for leaving my truck parked in the "no
stopping" zone, I returned and continued on to the island.   The only field
guide I had was the new National Geographic.  Later that evening in my
message to the Voice of the Naturalist hotline, I reported the bird as a
possible Common Redshank (Tringa totanus) as opposed to a Spotted Redshank
(Tringa erythropus) based on the information given about its range being into
Greenland with the possibility of stragglers showing up along the east coast
of North America.  I have seen both species of redshank in Asia but am
certainly no expert in differentiating between the two.  I was already
working against the clock to be back home the next day so I was not able to
spend the night and look for the bird the next morning.

I hope that someone will find the bird and clarify its identity.  I will be
waiting to hear about any details.  I can be reached by phone at work
(423-4787934) and home (423-4728543).

Rick Waldrop
Cleveland, TN


Joshua S. Rose
Duke University
Department of Zoology