Skip to Content

Stint: Little

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

Moderator: hilda

User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5497
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:00 am

Jumbo wrote:WT, I have found a couple of photos of Wood Sandpipers where the yellow legs were completely covered in mud….no yellow visible.... for me, personally, it will be difficult to always go on the colour of the legs. :?


I would be very careful to GOOGLE pictures of birds. As very often the id is wrong for that specific bird. I have often seen wrong id's on creditable sites.

Please provide me with the link, Jumbo, so that I can look into it. I find it hard to believe that a bird's legs to be completely covered in mud with no other proof like mud on the underparts of the bird etc.
668
Latest Lifer(s): Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tree Pipit, Dimorphic Egret, Lesser Jacana, Citrine Wagtail, Black-tailed Godwit

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

Jumbo

Unread postby Jumbo » Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:19 am

wildtuinman wrote:Please provide me with the link, Jumbo, so that I can look into it. I find it hard to believe that a bird's legs to be completely covered in mud with no other proof like mud on the underparts of the bird etc.


There are quiet a few, WTM….here is one….will post you more links on Tuesday…I have to leave for Marloth now 8)

Wood Sandpiper
The guy got his ID from THIS reputable group in Flickr

User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5497
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:22 pm

I can't comment for birds seen out of Southern Africa but
if it is a Wood Sandpiper, then I am very surprised as the tibia shows a clear fresh line as to where dark mud are stuck to. The rest of the leg is available for id and there is no visible yellow coloration on the leg and it seems to be a darker color.

I noticed that Roberts makes mention of greenish grey, olive green or yellowish green legs and feet. Although both SASOL III and Newman's shows a clear yellow leg on their illustrations. Robert's pictures also shows a clear yellow leg. I myself have never seen a Wood Sandpiper with not clear yellow legs.

This is when other pointers to the bird comes in handy and not judging the bird by just its legs alone.

A Wood Sandpiper would also have a dark horn on the bill with a greenish/yellowish base, which is also not evident on this picture and which could be masked by mud as well.

The owner of the photo makes mention of yellow coloration on other pictures of the bird he has, which I would've loved to see as the picture he posted would've fooled me.

In a case like this, more subsequent pictures indeed would show other tell tale signs to make an id on i.e. the length of bill, the extension of the white eyebrow, the angle of light etc etc etc.

Very few times can one make an id of a wader from one photo alone. Sometimes it is even best practice to record a video of it to study its behavior.

RP's birds clearly wades in water which would leave very little mud on the legs to fool the color thereof. The bird from the picture you've post the link of clearly wades in mud.

Sometimes common sense prevails.
668
Latest Lifer(s): Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tree Pipit, Dimorphic Egret, Lesser Jacana, Citrine Wagtail, Black-tailed Godwit

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

User avatar
Elminster
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:50 pm
Location: PMB

Re: Waders

Unread postby Elminster » Fri Jul 18, 2008 6:40 pm

I'm definitely no expert!!
But your bird is a little stint.

Perhaps I can take you on my journey on how I arrived at this conclusion.

Sandpipers are split in my mind into 3 categories.
Big
Medium
Small (peeps)

Big sandpipers are like Godwits, Whimbrel etc (hadeda size - red-eyed dove size).

Medium sandpipers are like Ruff, Curlew sandpiper, Marsh sandpiper etc. (kinda lapwing(crowned plover size)

Peeps are like the size of three-banded plover or smaller.

Now in this photo, we cant tell size.
But what can we tell....
Well colour is great but not just one feature's colour. It is the collection of features and colours that makes a bird what it is. The warm colouration of the back is helpful, very white underparts, strong eyestripe (supercilium) black legs and black bill. Not all books illustrate breeding shorebirds as they generally stay here during the northern winter and then breed there during the northern summer. Time of year is critical, these guys are going into moult, hence the shaggy appearance as they change their highly decorated breeding plumage for drab non-breeding (less energy to maintain gray plumage than brightly coloured!!) SO they have recently landed from the north and would have just finished breeding. If you saw a little stint in january he would look like this:

http://www.hardaker.co.za/littlestint1.htm

The bird has a short neck and a short bill. The bill is shorter than the length of the head.

All these features combine to give you a Little stint.

Also note that half the waders in your feild guide are vagrants and so learn which are the regulars and which are the vagrants, it helped me cut out a lot!! Although, I do go through the bird carefully to make sure it isnt a vagrant now!! Gotta get that list up!!
There is no substitute for time in the field
Latest new cam birds: White-headed Vulture on Orpen Cam
Latest lifer: Montagu's Harrier
South African Lifelist: 643

User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5497
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:55 am

The new Roberts field guide also explains that the Wood Sandpiper has yellow legs with a clear illustration of it.

Here is a picture of one my SO and I found in Polokwane Nature Reserve in October last year.

Image

The supercilium (eyebrow) is the main other option to consider between species like Wood and Green Sandpipers. With the Wood Sandpiper the supercilium extends to well past the eye whereas with the Green Sandpiper it would only extend to the eye.

The link with the picture provided by Jumbo shows to me that the supercilium extends to well past the eye. The legs however seems to be a dark grey color as shown by the red line, one can see the line the fresh mud had made on the leg.

I don't have time to sign up and ask the owner of that specific photo to send me more. if anyone else wants to go thru the trouble please do so and let me know if you received anything useful.
I would be very careful to GOOGLE pictures of birds elsewhere in the world. There are quite a few similar looking Sandpipers elsewhere which could be mistaken for something else.
668
Latest Lifer(s): Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tree Pipit, Dimorphic Egret, Lesser Jacana, Citrine Wagtail, Black-tailed Godwit

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5497
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Unread postby wildtuinman » Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:46 am

To i.d. Waders you must work from more than one guide source. And you must go practice to i.d them out in the field.

Best practice is to take as many photographs as possible and if you can take a video of it so that you can see the wading action.

I also like to work from videos by Guy Gibbon.

Through experience you will be able to i.d. this difficult category very easily in the end.
668
Latest Lifer(s): Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tree Pipit, Dimorphic Egret, Lesser Jacana, Citrine Wagtail, Black-tailed Godwit

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

User avatar
Rookie
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 304
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:18 am
Location: Cape Town

Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Rookie » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:57 pm

I spent Friday afternon in WCNP near Langebaan on the West Coast and even though the wind was howling and the tide very far out, I managed to get a couple of phots of the numerous waders that were in the water and would like some help with their ID.

Image

Thanks
KNP - 17 - 20 Oct 2014 (P'kop/ Croc Bridge/ Lower Sabie)
KNP - 8-16 Nov 2014 (Tamboti/ Mopani/ Shipindani/ LS/ Skukuza/ P'kop)
KTP - 26/12 - 2/1/15

User avatar
Lizet Grobbelaar
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 614
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 3:23 pm
Location: Pretoria

Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Lizet Grobbelaar » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:54 pm

Rookie,

Image

User avatar
Rookie
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 304
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:18 am
Location: Cape Town

Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Rookie » Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:53 am

6 lifers in one go! :dance: :dance:

I have no idea about waders, so thanks for the latest challenge Lizet!! :twisted: I suppose you think that I should get at least the last photo vaguely right now! :redface:

I also saw the common Whimbrel, ruddy turnstone, black winged stilts and a couple of black african oystercatchers.

Thanks so much for the input. Really appreciate it! :gflower:
KNP - 17 - 20 Oct 2014 (P'kop/ Croc Bridge/ Lower Sabie)
KNP - 8-16 Nov 2014 (Tamboti/ Mopani/ Shipindani/ LS/ Skukuza/ P'kop)
KTP - 26/12 - 2/1/15

Scipio
Posts: 4758
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:22 am

Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Scipio » Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:54 pm

Image

Mutorashanga
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:23 pm
Location: London

Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Mutorashanga » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:09 pm

Hi Scipio, your bird looks like a Little Stint.

MattAxel
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 345
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:37 pm
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby MattAxel » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:14 pm

Yip, Little Stint.

Scipio
Posts: 4758
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:22 am

Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Scipio » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:21 pm

:thumbs_up: Will do another few, over the next days. :thumbs_up:

Up to 379 confirmed pic's but lots more to go. :wall: :wall:

User avatar
arks
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4180
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:53 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)

Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby arks » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:22 am

At first I though that this was a little stint. However, when I noticed the dark central shafts in the feathers, I wondered if it could conceivably be a rednecked stint? Seen at Strandfontein (Cape Town) on 8 December 2012.

Image

this is a crop to show the dark central shafts of the feathers
Image

Image
RSA 2015
1-30 June Darling
30 June-8 July National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
8-15 July Mountain Zebra
16-22 July Cape Town

User avatar
Johan van Rensburg
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Award: Birder of the Year (2014)
Posts: 2620
Awards: Birder of the Year (2014) & Sighting of the Year - Birds (2013)
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:33 pm
Location: Jam Street

Re: Identification Help - Raptors

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:47 am

The dark central part to a little stint’s feathers is a normal feature. A red-necked stint would stand out amongst little stints as slightly larger, with longer wings and tail giving it an elongated appearance. Its legs are shorter; the bill is shorter and bulkier with a heavier base and more substantial knob at the tip. Never seen one, though. This info I got from googling and Roberts VII... At least I'll know one when I see it (I hope...)

Image

A little stint from my home patch shows off those dark feather shafts.
671 Latest lifer: Black coucal


Return to “Birding in Southern Africa”