Little Stint - Kleine Strandloper

Little Stint

Kleine Strandloper

Calidris minuta

Pictures: Teus Luijendijk


17 September 2005, Wagejot, Texel NH


17 September 2005, Wagejot, Texel NH

Autumn stints often cause a lot of confusion. As wear progresses, Little Stints may become very washed out, resulting in a plumage reminiscent of that of Semipalmated Sandpiper C. pusilla. Many reports of such Semip's in the past turned out to be these worn Little Stints.
The bird shown below was probably the most dramatic example I ever encountered. It was quite obviously a Little Stint, with the characteristic tapering (not so deep-based) bill and frantic foraging behaviour. It did, however, show mainly greyish upperparts, which still showed several obvious dark markings, formed by (almost) black centres to the scapulars. It thus resembled quite strongly the summer plumage of Semipalmated Sandpiper. Probably because of one or two missing scapulars, some 'normal-coloured' rufous-edged wing feathers (probably median primary coverts) can just be seen and although these are only marginally visible on the pictures, they were quite obvious in the field.

  Little Stint  -  Kleine Strandloper  Calidris minuta   bleached adult;  videograbs (320x).
  Wagejot, Texel NH, The Netherlands, 17 September 2005.


Copyright ©Teus Luijendijk 2005