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Stint: Little

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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arks
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Stint: Little

Unread postby arks » Mon Nov 06, 2006 4:08 am

I don't find a topic for this bird, so here's my contribution.

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Taken in WCNP, April 2006
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Johan van Rensburg
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Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:43 am

Little stint, Calidris minuta looks very much different in breeding colours. They migrate to their breeding grounds around this time of year. I guess that is why they are starting to show their pretty feathers.

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Richprins

Stint, Little

Unread postby Richprins » Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:58 pm

Won't you have a look at these two seen at Klopperfontein , Northern Kruger last year September?

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MarkWildDog
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Unread postby MarkWildDog » Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:38 pm

Little stint in breeding.

The little stints tend to have brown rufous colour when in breeding. This bird's size and the location of where you saw it are giveaways. They are commonly found in wetland areas and are one of the most common of the small wetland birds. They usually forage in large flocks and feed in a very rapid action. However the breeding little stints dont usually have a white stripe above their eyes. But still it is definitely a little stint :lol:

Jumbo

Unread postby Jumbo » Fri Jul 18, 2008 6:49 am

Hi RP

They look very much like the Wood Sandpiper that Johann and FD helped me to ID a while back…
Maybe you can compare the birds on your photo with the following…
Wood Sandpiper

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wildtuinman
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Jul 18, 2008 7:39 am

Finally, after clearing the cache I can see these birds now.

Not Wood Sandpipers. The legs are black and not yellowish and the bird also seems smaller.
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Jul 18, 2008 7:47 am

I would go for a smaller sized wader, like a Stint or Sanderling. Very interesting bird, RP.

Looks like it might even be in breeding plumage. The reflection of the front bird in the water doesn't seem to show some sort of a rusty chin as described in SASOL III for Red-Necked Stint in Breeding plumage, it occurs to be more white.

The bird in the back seems to show some stripes on the upper parts as illustrated in SASOL III for Little Stint.

I will go with Little Stint in breeding plumage.
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:01 am

Roberts lists its breeding as extralimital: beyond the borders of the geographical area under review.

So perhaps as MarkWildDog, described with the white eyebrow, these birds are just getting out of breeding plumage as they arrive in our area in September.
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:16 am

The Red-Necked Stint in Breeding plumage does show the white eyebrow. But the are also extralimital breeders. I can't find any reliable record for it in Kruger but they are easily confused with Little Stint at the best of times.

The throat area also seems too white for this species.

It also lacks the black shoulder area of a Sanderling.

I will stay with Little Stint, coming out of breeding plumage.

Interesting one though.
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Jumbo

Unread postby Jumbo » Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:29 am

wildtuinman wrote:Not Wood Sandpipers. The legs are black and not yellowish and the bird also seems smaller.


wildtuinman wrote:I would go for a smaller sized wader, like a Stint or Sanderling.


WTM, isn’t the Wood Sandpiper and Sanderling the same size?

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:38 am

Jumbo wrote:
wildtuinman wrote:Not Wood Sandpipers. The legs are black and not yellowish and the bird also seems smaller.


wildtuinman wrote:I would go for a smaller sized wader, like a Stint or Sanderling.


WTM, isn’t the Wood Sandpiper and Sanderling the same size?


I dunno, you tell me, Jumbo. Is this a test or something?

To save you some time. SASOL III says yes, Roberts says the Sanderling is smaller. I haven't seen Sanderling in the field so cannot comment.

BTW, Newman's also say Sanderling is smaller. One shouldn't read too much in physical size anyways. The measurement of height and length of a bird are two completely different things. A bird appearing smaller doesn't mean necessarily that it is physically smaller.

Point is, Wood Sandpiper has yellowish legs.
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Jumbo

Unread postby Jumbo » Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:49 am

wildtuinman wrote:I dunno, you tell me, Jumbo. Is this a test or something?


Hey WTM, I’m just trying to actually learn something about waders here….no tests or something like that! :shock:
I have no clue what these birds are….they did look very much like my Wood Sandpiper….but as I said before, to me all these birds look the same.

wildtuinman wrote:Point is, Wood Sandpiper has yellowish legs.


Don’t you think one should be careful to use leg colour when the birds are in mud?

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:51 am

When I meant smaller I meant that the length of the bill and tibia did not fit that of a Wood Sandpiper as well. The Wood Sandpiper's tibia is for instance much longer than that of a Stint or Sanderling. The overall appearance makes it seem smaller and one can only pick up this type of difference after spending a lot of patient hours out in the field trying to id waders.
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:00 am

Bird guides makes mention of leg coloration of Waders, called so because they wade around in mud most of the time, because it is a vital piece of information to consider when trying to id waders.

There is a lot of water around in the picture and that would wash mud off as the bird wades around. Also a wader very seldom wades so deep that the legs would completely be obscured by mud or water and if that was the case then the belly too would've shown mud residue.

I think most people make the common mistake of taking mud into consideration when they see the coloration of a wader's legs. I have very seldom if ever had trouble with mud sticking onto a bird's leg when looking at them in the field. Again, only something one would realize after spending a lot time in the field which is crucial for getting a good feel for waders and such.
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Jumbo

Unread postby Jumbo » Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:54 am

I’m really trying to get to grips with these waders….I went to have a look at some photos on the web of Wood Sandpipers and Little Stints in their breeding plumage.

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. :?

After looking at the photos the Little Stints, I agree with Mark and WTM on their ID of Little Stint in breeding plumage.
RP, you can, for example, have a look at the following photo: Little Stint (photographed in India)


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