Did I tick off a lifer while in Spain?

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View -

QI took these pho­tos at Al­bufera de Va­len­cia in Au­gust 2014 – they have been sit­ting in the ‘not sure’ file ever since, un­til I re­ceived this sum­mer’s edi­tion of the RSPB magazine and saw a pic­ture of a Tem­minck’s Stint. I searched my books and the in­ter­net but was never cer­tain. This very tiny wader landed in front of the hide. Its small size got me in­ter­ested – there were clearly Green and Com­mon Sand­pipers on the la­goon much big­ger than mine. Was it just a ju­ve­nile Com­mon Sand­piper or can I add this to my life list? Dave Howcroft

AAlthough Tem­minck’s Stints in win­ter and ju­ve­nile plumages can be con­fused with Com­mon Sand­pipers, this looks like a fairly typ­i­cal ex­am­ple of the lat­ter, with rather plain up­per­parts. Tem­minck’s Stints do have sim­i­larly grey-green legs to this bird and do adopt a sim­i­lar creep­ing, hor­i­zon­tal stance and gait. But note the long tail which ex­tends well be­yond the wing tips. Also, note the ver­ti­cal white ‘line’ just in front of the bend in the wing, as well as the longish, ‘strong’ bill (longer than that of a stint). So, your bird is cer­tainly a Com­mon Sand­piper.

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