Curlew Sand, Cabbage Point, Catlins

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sjacques
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Curlew Sand, Cabbage Point, Catlins

Postby sjacques » Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:17 pm

Was at Cabbage Point in the Catlins at lunchtime today. Despite decent high tide there were very few waders about; people who know this site better may be aware of an alternative roost the waders use in this area?

As the tide began to recede slightly, three waders dropped in; 2 Barwits and this moulting adult Curlew Sandpiper.

Bill length was at the shorter end of the spectrum for this species I thought, but all other features checked out.

Cheers,
Sean.
Curlew Sand, Cabbage point 21-11-19.jpg
Curlew Sand, Cabbage point 21-11-19.jpg (865.99 KiB) Viewed 516 times
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Adam C
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Re: Curlew Sand, Cabbage Point, Catlins

Postby Adam C » Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:28 pm

Be good to see more photos of this one Sean. Just going on this image bill is indeed short.
“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
Wandoona
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Re: Curlew Sand, Cabbage Point, Catlins

Postby Wandoona » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:01 pm

Agree looks good for curlew but could also pass for western sandpiper???? .... now wouldn’t that be something !!!!
Ian Southey
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Re: Curlew Sand, Cabbage Point, Catlins

Postby Ian Southey » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:45 pm

Um. Let's calm down and settle for Red Knot.

Ian
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Adam C
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Re: Curlew Sand, Cabbage Point, Catlins

Postby Adam C » Thu Nov 21, 2019 10:04 pm

It might 'knot' be ;)
“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
sjacques
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Re: Curlew Sand, Cabbage Point, Catlins

Postby sjacques » Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:50 pm

Thanks for comments on this bird, and I attach another (profile) record shot. I went back to Cabbage Point yesterday evening at low tide and lucked in with excellent views of the Grey-tailed tattler that I believe is a long-staying bird (pic attached).

I stand by the identification as a curlew sandpiper because;

1. The red feathering on the lower breast (indicating it is an adult) rules out all the calidris sandpipers except lesser knot and curlew sand.
2. This bird has black legs (C sand), lesser knot has green legs.
3. This bird is moulting into basic plumage with clean white underparts and greyish upperparts. It lacks any of the dark grey markings on breast, flank and undertails that I would expect to see on lesser knot in similar plumage.
4. (Not seen in photos) It had a white rump when seen to fly.
5. Bill; fine and decurved in this bird (C Sand), heavier and straighter in lesser knot. While curlew sand is monotypic across its range, i.e. no obvious variation between birds from different locations (unlike lesser knot and dunlin for example), there can always be some individual variation.

Any further thoughts or comments most welcome. Cheers, Sean.
Curlew Sand Cabbage Point 2.jpg
Curlew Sand Cabbage Point 2.jpg (797.61 KiB) Viewed 363 times
Grey-tailed Tattler Cabbage point 21-11-19.jpg
Grey-tailed Tattler Cabbage point 21-11-19.jpg (851.45 KiB) Viewed 363 times
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Adam C
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Re: Curlew Sand, Cabbage Point, Catlins

Postby Adam C » Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:05 pm

Knot a knot or a Curlew Sand....Almost a Tattler...Head scratcher
“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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RussCannings
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Re: Curlew Sand, Cabbage Point, Catlins

Postby RussCannings » Sat Nov 23, 2019 4:47 pm

Like Ian said, this is definitely a Red (aka Lesser) Knot. Shape an bulk, relatively short legs, and bill too robust for Curlew Sand (the legs are the feature that stats out the most to me). Note that while juvenile knots have greenish legs, adults mostly have blackish legs. The orange tone is also more typical of a worn knit whereas curlew Sands tend to moult more randomly and show trickier red tones. While not clean white like curlew sands, red knots still have whitish rumps with some individuals appearing whiter than others.

Still a great bird for Otago!
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Adam C
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Re: Curlew Sand, Cabbage Point, Catlins

Postby Adam C » Sat Nov 23, 2019 5:17 pm

Breast is too clean/white Ross for a knot. Unless the fuzzy image isn't showing any flecking but structure just doesn't say knot at all to me and the bill isn't stout/robust enough but I guess we will never know!

But looking at the last 2 photos you'd almost swear it was different bird. One thing is for certain photos can lie with angle, light etc as we all know. I honestly believe if you find something you're uncertain of, as much as we all want that photo TRY and get some video. 20 seconds of video will tell so much more than photos :)
Last edited by Adam C on Sat Nov 23, 2019 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“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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Adam C
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Re: Curlew Sand, Cabbage Point, Catlins

Postby Adam C » Sat Nov 23, 2019 5:29 pm

Heres some knot shots taken at the Ashley last week for comparison.
Knot 3LF.jpg
Knot 3LF.jpg (222.71 KiB) Viewed 256 times
Red Knot 1LF.jpg
Red Knot 1LF.jpg (310.29 KiB) Viewed 256 times
Knot 2f.jpg
Knot 2f.jpg (387.83 KiB) Viewed 256 times
“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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