Almost a year to the day of last year’s Western Sandpiper (see picture below) at Hoylake shore, incredibly a moulting adult Semi palmated Sandpiper was found amongst a small group of Dunlin.
The bird in question is clearly a moulting adult showing a mixture of black, retained summer feathers and the greyer, new winter moult. The bird showed no rufous feather edges as would be expected in both Western Sandpiper and Little Stint The distant viewing meant some key features could have been seen a lot better including the palmations and bill. We will all be out tomorrow for better views.
In light of just how tricky these peeps/stints can be, caution is the best way forwards when identifying these birds, particularly on poor views!
|1st year Western Sandpiper (Hoylake, 20th September 2012) The long droop tipped bill and isolated rufous scapulars distinguish Western Sand from Semi P in 1st winter plumage. Photo by Steve Young www.birdsonfilm.com|
|An ID Challenge at this distance|
Offshore an estimated 3000 Common Scoter were seen from Hoylake shore. They were a long way off amongst the wind farms; however a few small flocks ventured closer to the land.
An adult Yellow legged Gull was again amongst the Gulls in the usual Hoylake Gull roost.
A Golden Plover remained faithful to this stretch of beach just west of the Lifeboat station. Incredibly this bird is the last of a trio that has been present for 8 weeks.