Did I tick off a lifer while in Spain?
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.