Ruff (Reeve, actually) at brideport and more

Observers: Kristie Nelson
Remote Name:
Date: 09/10/2004
Time: 05:10 PM -0400


Hi all, A good day birding at Bridgeport Reservoir today! Today, like last time I was here several days ago, the lake was teaming with birds. Thousands (at least 2-3) of waterfowl (if you count coots too) - mostly gadwall, but also the usual other species and arrivals - redhead, pintail, ruddies, shovler, teal, etc. Big vociferous fall groups of killdeer on the shore, dozens, and many dowitchers, and hundreds of sandpipers. The south end of the lake is just full of birds. Highlight was a juvenile Ruff (Reeve, it was small, indicating a female). It was fairly easy to pick out by color and size, and was on the SE (generally) shore off the Yerington hwy, roughly between the Bridgeport Reservoir sign, which is where the first resort is on the left, and the next set of buildings/development. It seemed wed to that spot, since when a plane flew over and scared all the sandpipers it was with, it also flushed but quickly plopped right back down when all the others were still flying around. Later when all the waterfowl and shorebirds nearshore spooked, when I scanned back to look for it, there she was, nestled with some avocets only about 100m from the first spot. Muck shoes would be good, as the mud keeps one from getting very close (a scope is needed too), and getting too close could also spook the birds but this was not much of a problem. Overall it is fairly soft buff, especially on the breast. The upperparts are broadly edged buff. The tertials extended to wingtips with buff edges, and in typical ruff fashion some of the back feathers were sticking up over the round of the back almost constantly. Bill about 1 1/4 head with and slightly drooped. Faintly darker contrasting cap. Tail mostly white with dark up center. So many bird there I would not be surprised if there are more rare birds to be found. Unfortunately most birds are on the SE part of the lake, which has little access. Many migrant Barn Swallows around also. They don't breed in Mono Co much, and many are passing through. Have fun, Kristie