FIVE TO FIND in Septem­ber

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your Birding Month -

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.

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