Probable little stint Kaitorete spit tip

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Location: Havelock North

Re: Little stint Kaitorete spit tip

Postby sav » Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:12 pm

Hi all,

Just a follow-up on the stint after DT and I saw it on Tuesday.

I've seen a few hundred boreal autumnal Little Stints (LIST) in my previous life in Britain, and never seen anything like this bird. Almost all LIST in Britain in Sept/Oct are juveniles, with white "braces" and a dark centred crown, bright enough scapulars and wing coverts to make them look "colourful" compared to the normal (grey-toned) Red-necked Stints we get here. When looking at the photos of the Kidd's bird, it appears to be exactly like that, so I just don't get why it should be considered as an adult? (VERY happy to be enlightened).

The Ellesmere bird is, as far as I can ascertain, in perfect boreal SPRING-time breeding plumage. It isn't colourful - it glows! Like a little ginger light-bulb. And its braces aren't white, they are golden. It's a simply brilliant (in more ways than one) little gem.

So the obvious question is this : How does it come to be in full breeding plumage at exactly the wrong time of year? Has it been lurking in the Southern Hemisphere long enough to change it's moult to our seasons??


Sav Saville
Wrybill Birding Tours, NZ
Great Birds, Real Birders
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Adam C
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Re: Probable little stint Kaitorete spit tip

Postby Adam C » Sat Oct 26, 2019 12:15 pm

Not having any previous knowledge of these guys just having poured over all shorebird sites and my shorebird library I've been scratching my head on this one too. It is as you say as obvious as dogs balls amongst the other stints out there. It is indeed a wee ginger gem! The rush to see it before it 'blended' into the other stints may gave been premature!
“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”

Samuel Ullman
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Re: Probable little stint Kaitorete spit tip

Postby andrewcrossland » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:31 pm

Just an update on Kaitorete Spit tip.

No Little Stint there yesterday so I assume its still on the Greenpark Sands somewhere - spoilt for choice with recent rain forming pools everywhere.

Present yesterday were:

1 juv Bar-tailed Godwit
31 Turnstone
RN Stint
12 Wrybill
41 Banded Dotterel
23 Pied Stilt

There's also a sizeable Caspian tern colony (160+ birds) way out on the far edge of the mudflat. This species is super-sensitive to human disturbance and readily lift off their eggs (allowing Black-backed Gulls in a nearby colony to seize eggs or chicks), so please birders and wildlife photographers remember to give them at least a 100m wide berth. We'll deploy some traps out there in addition to existing ones in a few days time and DoC will put up some "no go" signs near the colony, so hopefully they'll be successful.


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