Saturday, 17 July 2010

Pectoral Sandpiper

A Pectoral Sandpiper was discovered at Klydesøen by Sebastian Klein on Thursday. Saturday morning was the first opportunity I had to go, so I was up very early and on site by 0600. I found it at about 0615 and was joined shortly afterwards by Mathias Vogdrup-Schmidt. We enjoyed pretty good views of the Pec Sand before, at about 0700, a fox caused havoc with the waders by slowly wandering onto the mud. Luckily, the Pec Sand did not end up as the fox's breakfast (unlike a poor Long-billed Dowitcher at LilleVildmose earlier this year) and we were soon enjoying further views as it favoured the muddy fringes of the scrape. This was only my second ever Pectoral Sandpiper and I took the opportunity to study it closely. It reminded me of a small Ruff with a similar pattern to the upperparts and similarly proportioned bill. Its legs were a yellowish green (versus orange on Ruff) and the bill was dark with a slightly paler base (only seen in good light and from relatively close distance). There was a strong demarcation between the breast streaking and the white belly and, from front on, the streaking lowered to a point on the centre of the breast. I did not see obvious 'V' markings on the back, formed by the scapulars but I believe this feature is more prominent on fresh juveniles. When it flew a short distance the rather plainish wings could be seen with a faint wing-bar. It tended to favour the muddier areas and I did not see it enter the water at all..

The light was beautiful and there were good numbers of waders around - we counted 19 species in all. The two Spoonbills were still on site and a single Caspian Tern was fishing at the back of the reserve. After a couple of hours I popped into the hide at Sydmøllevej and enjoyed close views of a Greenshank, a Wood Sandpiper and the resident Swallows... before cycling back for breakfast at 1000..

Photos: Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper and Barn Swallow

1 comment:

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