Sunday, 7 August 2016

Little Stint

A thoroughly miserable weekend this one, in which I tried desperately to add to my year list only to return home with my tail between my legs after each foray out into what is currently the furnace of 'the outside'. In truth, I'm still a couple of weeks too early for the (relatively straightforward) targets I have in mind, but have been led to think otherwise by the volume of birds that are currently returning. Friday was the pick of the weekend, with the usual wader spots flogged (in search of a now due Asian Dowitcher Limnodromus semipalmatus) producing three Ruff Philomachus pugnax at San Liao Wan and, best of all, a very approachable summer-plumaged Little Stint Calidris minuta at Tu Cheng. I didn't need one of these for the year, but certainly wasn't going to pass one up when it was being this confiding!

Saturday and Sunday mornings were spent seawatching (in search of a now overdue Sooty Tern Onychoprion fuscatus) and, in truth, Saturday was quite reasonable, with excellent views of Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii, Wedge-tailed Shearwater Ardenna pacifica and Brown Noddy Anous stolidus. I've given up trying to photograph things from Qi Gu with such a small lens as there's not only the distance but also the haze to contend with, meaning that results are always disappointing, I thought I might try filming stuff on Sunday instead but, wouldn't you know it, the light would be terrible and there would be practically no birds available for me to attempt to practise on. I stopped off at Tu Cheng on the way home on both Saturday and Sunday, failing to find the Little Stint for a second time and only managing to photograph a worn adult Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata which hadn't been there on Friday.

This will probably be the pattern until something better arrives to break the deadlock, with the photos I take of waders involving increasingly commoner species and being of gradually poorer and poorer quality! Above photos taken at Tu Cheng, Tainan City 5-7/8/16.

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