Sunday, 10 September 2017

'Spectacled Sandpiper'

The OCD-like spell of stint-watching resumed today, after a day spent at home in restraints which I hoped might result in a cure. Everything has now moved to San Gu, and all of the usual suspects can be readily found there. Things can often be a bit harder to photograph at San Gu than at Tu Cheng (which is now virtually dry), and I came away with little on my camera this afternoon save for a few more Red-necked Stints Calidris ruficollis and a juvenile Temminck's Stint Calidris temminckii (a plumage which I perhaps have not photographed before).

The most interesting bird of the day was an adult winter 'Spectacled Sandpiper' (!), a bird which (if memory serves) I have come across at least once before in Taiwan (in winter). I cannot recall whether the white spectacles on that individual were quite as striking as they were on this one, and I was very disappointed that I couldn't manage to get closer to this wonderful thing than I did.

The bird is of course a Long-toed Stint Calidris subminuta, just a surprisingly-patterned one. I'm guessing it was probably female as it was both small and repeatedly being chased off its preferred feeding patch by juveniles (which no self-respecting male would put up with).

As yet another autumn passage period passes rapidly by without me having found anything of note amongst the waders, I'll gladly take this 'curiosity' as reward for putting in the effort (in place of the alternative, which would have been nowt). Above photos taken at San Gu, Tainan County 10/9/17.

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