Friday, 21 September 2012

Little Stint/Semipalmated Sandpiper?

ARC, Dungeness RSPB Reserve -Following several telephone conversations this afternoon concerning the identity of a small calidris photographed at ARC on Monday 17th September by PB I decided to back track a little.
On Sunday 9th September I noted what I considered at the time to be, " a largish adult Little Stint almost in winter plumage" (check Plovers blog for that date). SB came in the Hanson hide and I asked his opinion as it looked a bit odd. SB commented on the thickness of the bill base, but we both agreed it was a Little Stint approaching winter plumage. I took a few digi-pics which turned out to be useless due to the range and that was that. Thankfully, PBs pics were much better.
The bird was also present throughout its stay with a juv Little Stint and it did appear to be appreciably larger, but I put that down to individual variation. In hind sight (which I have a first class honours degree!) I now regret not taking field notes.
I also saw the bird on 17th September for the last time, which was almost certainly the same individual that had been present since the 9th, and am now in the process of checking through pics of both species and deliberating; this may take a while...

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