Thursday 28 July 2022

Least Sandpiper at Drift Reservoir 27th July 2022

 A quiet July eventually sprang in to action when a Temminck's Stint was reported at Drift Reservoir. As is normal these days, photo's soon appeared on the internet and chat groups. Questions were asked when the tail pattern, especially the lack of white outer tail feathers, didn't quite fit with Temminck's, itself a rare wader in Cornwall. Long-toed Stint was also mooted as a potential confusion species. Eventually the ID was confirmed with more photographs as an adult Least Sandpiper based on the white supercilium meeting across the forehead, the call, jizz and the lack of white sides in the tail.

Thanks to Nigel Rogers and Dave Flumm as the original finders.

Least Sandpiper, Drift Res, (picture by Joe Jones).

This record is the 9th Least Sandpiper to occur in Cornwall, the last being 16 years ago at Copperhouse and Hayle from Sep 17th - Oct 15th 2006.

All records:

2022: Drift Res, adult, July 27th - Aug 3rd.

2006: Hayle and Copperhouse, juv, Sep 17th-Oct 15th.

1993: Hayle Est., first winter, Sep 22nd-Oct 4th.

1991: Landulph, adult, Aug 25th.

1986: Portscatho, 1st winter moulting to first summer, Feb 9th-Apr 20th.

1983: College Res, 1st winter, 3rd-9th Sep.

1966: Camel Est, Sep 13th-22nd

1890: Mousehole, caught by a fisherman, September.

1853: Marazion Marsh, 10th Oct, shot. Apparently this record is the first for Britain and Europe.

Least Sandpiper breeds in sub-Arctic and boreal habitats from Canada to Alaska and winters in northern South America, Mexico, Central America, Caribbean and southern North America states. Many migrate in the Autumn direct from south east Canada over the west Atlantic towards South America.

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