"Possible" Western Sandpiper at Miranda

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Steve Wood
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Re: "Possible" Western Sandpiper at Miranda

Postby Steve Wood » Fri Dec 20, 2019 6:58 pm

My call - based purely on this picture and know idea of actual size, I cant discount it being a longish billed red necked Stint.
check out pics of this species on NZ birds online shows a good comparison.
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Adam C
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Re: "Possible" Western Sandpiper at Miranda

Postby Adam C » Fri Dec 20, 2019 7:10 pm

But then Westerns often have shorter bills too..

Attached are all Westerns

theres almost a cross over with extreme length of either species so...
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Steve Wood
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Re: "Possible" Western Sandpiper at Miranda

Postby Steve Wood » Fri Dec 20, 2019 7:31 pm

Happy to be proven wrong. Even the posture of Imogen bird says to me RN stint.( no neck)

I have attached a picture that Phil Hammond sent me of a bird he saw and thought looked different, and exceptionally long billed to me.
I would like to see this bird better and just maybe we are cross referencing more than one bird.
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David Melville
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Re: "Possible" Western Sandpiper at Miranda

Postby David Melville » Sat Dec 21, 2019 7:12 am

Not Sanderling - this bird has a hind toe - Sanderling is the only sandpiper with only three toes.
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Adam C
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Re: "Possible" Western Sandpiper at Miranda

Postby Adam C » Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:01 am

Just to further add to the shorter bills of a lot of Western Sandpipers heres two pics from 'The Shorebird Guide' by M O'Brien, R Crossley and K Karlson. The rear bird in the 2nd pic is a Semi Palmated but all the rest are Westerns. Googled images on the internet tend to show longer billed birds a lot as they are easier to identify. But they certainly fall within the range of this birds bill so it's pretty much going to be an unknown unless someone can get shots of it colouring up later in the year.
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“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.”

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Michael
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Re: "Possible" Western Sandpiper at Miranda

Postby Michael » Sat Dec 21, 2019 10:12 am

I am nowhere near an expert, and have no field experience with Western Sandpiper and haven't seen a stint in far too long, but to me this bird looks like a Red-Necked Stint.

We can sit here till the cows come home saying the bill is long and downcurved in a way you wouldn't expect in a RN, but by the same reasoning it is short and straight for a Western. In all honesty, I wouldn't even go as far as to say it is completely left-field for a Red-Necked, and while we are used to being told their bills are straight, Michael Morcombe's Field Guide to Australian Birds states [Red-Necked Stint] "Bill short, thick-based, almost straight except very slightly downcurved and bulbous tip". To me, that's a pretty good description for what we have here.

I think that Steve is correct in saying:

Steve Wood wrote:Even the posture of Imogen bird says to me RN stint.( no neck)


The bird has that stereotypical hunchback pose classic of the Red-Necked Stint, with the head held just lower than the shoulder in most of the photos. While Western Sandpiper can look hunchbacked while foraging, they seem to stand a bit taller in most photos, field guide illustrations and texts, with the head held just above the shoulder.

A clinching detail for me is the tail. Once again turning to Michael Morcombe, Red-Necked Stint have "long wings that extend beyond tail tip, giving the bird a slender, attenuated rear end," while the Western Sandpiper has short wings that end level with the tail tip. All the photos posted of this bird in the field, including Grahame's original, Jochen's resighting and Imogen's latest photos, show tail feathers protruding well beyond the tail.

Looking then to the plumage of the bird, and the breastband too has strong evidence of a Red-Necked. It is smudgy and brown all over, perhaps lightly streaked but not in a way that is particularly note-worthy. In Morcombe, this is called "a dark smudge", which I think is pretty apt in relation to this bird. In a Western Sandpiper, we would expect this to be more distinctly striated (Simpson and Day, Morcombe, Robertson and Heather). In most images on the internet, even in non-breeding attire these streaking patterns tend to have some scatterings of the distinctive "arrowheads" of a Western's breeding plumage, but Imogen's photos don't show any sign of such markings.

Hope this helps :D
Michael
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Michael Szabo
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Re: "Possible" Western Sandpiper at Miranda

Postby Michael Szabo » Sat Dec 21, 2019 11:17 am

We are clearly all discussing more than one bird. There seems to be a Broad-billed Sandpiper and a Red-necked Stint there at the moment but the bird photographed by Graeme seems to be something else again - a possible Western Sandpiper or could it even be Semipalmated, White-rumped or Baird's?

Link to Graeme's photo: download/file.php?id=8453
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erikforsyth
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Re: "Possible" Western Sandpiper at Miranda

Postby erikforsyth » Sat Dec 21, 2019 3:18 pm

hi all

I agree with Michael, definitely, 2-3 birds involved going on the pictures and descriptions.

"Michael Szabo"]We are clearly all discussing more than one bird. There seems to be a Broad-billed Sandpiper and a Red-necked Stint there at the moment but the bird photographed by Graeme seems to be something else again - a possible Western Sandpiper or could it even be Semipalmated, White-rumped or Baird's?

Link to Graeme's photo: download/file.php?id=8453[/quote]

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Grahame
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Re: "Possible" Western Sandpiper at Miranda

Postby Grahame » Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:47 pm

Due to a misunderstanding, resulting in an unfortunate mistake, caused three rather good photos to be taken and posted of a Red-necked Stint that was thought to be the unknown wader, possibly Western. This presumably has come about due to a three bird scenario as Michael and Erik have said. This has, quite understandably, resulted in a lack of interest in it, so I feel that its species will never be known, and little point in a UBR being submitted. Sorry for the delay in this posting, but I have been away.
Cheers, Grahame

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