Mystery Sanpiper at Miranda

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David Lawrie
Posts: 198
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:32 pm

Mystery Sanpiper at Miranda

Postby David Lawrie » Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:08 am

on last evenings tide, Tony Habraken and I, found 3 Stint sized birds at Miranda. Two of them were clearly Red Necked Stints, but the third had a much longer bill with a distinct droop at the end. the bird had a little more colour and patterning that the Stints but was otherwise similar in size.
we had really good views and the bird lacked the double supercilium of a Broad Billed Sandpiper, but otherwise matched our expectations for that species. However there is also the Western Sandpiper which is very similar without the supercilium.
Tony and I are divided on what it is at the moment, but this notice is to alert people to check very closely any Stint sized birds in front of the hide.
David Lawrie
Posts: 198
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:32 pm

Re: Mystery Sanpiper at Miranda

Postby David Lawrie » Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:31 pm

Some photos to whet your appetite
20191026 Miranda 278.PNG
20191026 Miranda 278.PNG (528.04 KiB) Viewed 876 times
20191026 Miranda 312.PNG
20191026 Miranda 312.PNG (669.17 KiB) Viewed 876 times
20191026 Miranda 259.PNG
20191026 Miranda 259.PNG (687.75 KiB) Viewed 876 times
David Lawrie
Posts: 198
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:32 pm

Re: Mystery Sanpiper at Miranda

Postby David Lawrie » Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:35 pm

some more
20191026 Miranda 297.PNG
20191026 Miranda 297.PNG (1020.16 KiB) Viewed 876 times
20191026 Miranda 293.PNG
20191026 Miranda 293.PNG (573.9 KiB) Viewed 876 times
Ian Southey
Posts: 950
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:45 pm

Re: Mystery Sanpiper at Miranda

Postby Ian Southey » Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:46 pm

Gillian and I went down to the hide this afternoon and eventually found this bird. In the evening light we could see quite a bit of detail in spite of the distance and can pretty much confirm David and Tony's observations but no more. The bird is slim, a little browner than the other stints and with a big white supercilium. The bill is as described and long enough that the only reasonable candidates in our books appear to be Broad-billed Sandpiper and female Western Sandpiper and the lack of crown stripes suggests Western. Needs a closer look.

The bird was not initially apparent but was found with the Wrybills sitting in front of the gull flock. There are enough tuft of vegetation and hollows to hide it. Maybe it will appear in front of the hide one day.

So still a mystery, but still there

Ian
Davidthomas
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:05 am

Re: Mystery Sanpiper at Miranda

Postby Davidthomas » Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:54 pm

I guess the key question was what colour were the legs? Broadbilled are meant to have olive green ones, while western have black.
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Michael Szabo
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Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 12:30 pm

Re: Mystery Sanpiper at Miranda

Postby Michael Szabo » Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:36 am

Here's a photo of a Western Sandpiper in breeding plumage for comparison that I took earlier this year in Los Angeles:
https://scontent.fpmr1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/ ... e=5E61BAA3
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Ian Southey
Posts: 950
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:45 pm

Re: Mystery Sanpiper at Miranda

Postby Ian Southey » Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:28 am

Good to see the pictures David. Not sure about leg colour but the bill's definitely wrong. Here's a couple of pictures of the Broad-billed Sandpiper from Kidd's in December 2015 and you can see how it gets it name.

Ian
BBS Kidds 31-12-15_9999_27.jpg
BBS Kidds 31-12-15_9999_27.jpg (243.56 KiB) Viewed 801 times
BBS.jpg
BBS.jpg (244.52 KiB) Viewed 801 times
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Michael Szabo
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Re: Mystery Sanpiper at Miranda

Postby Michael Szabo » Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:35 am

David Thomas just reported it is still there this morning. He is trying to get an ID.
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Davidthomas
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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:05 am

Re: Mystery Sanpiper at Miranda

Postby Davidthomas » Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:48 am

As Michael says the bird was present this morning from 7am to 8:15 when we left. It was roosting with a he wrybill on the hide side of the spit. Rather frustrating views unfortunately straight into the sun so my impressions are pretty much the same as everyone else’s. It’s either a broadbilled or a western. Beak is too long for a semi-palm. It has a strong single supercillium, with quite a white face when it’s facing you and a long bill. Quite strong markings on the neck and shoulders but otherwise generally pretty brown. Unfortunately I couldn’t assess leg colour either.
David Lawrie
Posts: 198
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:32 pm

Re: Mystery Sanpiper at Miranda

Postby David Lawrie » Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:14 am

I believe the legs were black, at least that is what I have written down

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