FIVE TO FIND in September
Your summer rest is over! As far as many birds are concerned, it has been over for a while, with migration taking place in earnest for some weeks. But September sees a shifting of gears and a sizeable increase in movement. Birds of all sorts are on what is called ‘return’ passage, heading to their wintering grounds. Unlike spring migration, the autumn’s episode is a more leisurely affair, without the need to rush to claim a territory and find a mate. So, you may be lucky and see that birds can linger a while on their way through. Here are five species to catch up with this month, and perhaps add to your #My200birdyear list. How many can you see? LITTLE STINT
Stints are cute and desirable little waders. They are so small, they look about the size of pipits or wagtails, and it is odd to think of them as cousins of gull-sized giants like Curlews. In a mixed flock of smaller waders, you can pick them out as being the next size or two down from Dunlins (which are pretty small to start with). Most Little Stints we see in the autumn are juveniles on passage. But, remember, plumages among the juvenile waders are often among the most attractive, particularly in autumn, as the feathers are fresh and neat and even, and the colours are pure. Little stints have neatly golden fringed wing and back feathers with ‘braces’ of white on the back and a curious ‘split’ pale supercilium (eyebrow). The bill is short and straight, the legs are black. Most are seen around coastal sites, particularly in the south and east, but they also turn up inland in small numbers.