Monday 17 September 2018

Long-toed Stint with the Phalaropes

Though the Red-necked Phalaropes were the undoubted stars of a post-typhoon post a couple of weeks ago, I was repeatedly drawn to this Long-toed Stint which was amazingly loyal to the one corner of the field. One reason I was pleased to get good views being a week earlier I'd had a Long-toed and Broad-billed Sand on a small, distant pond in Mie prefecture that had been impossible to approach.

Long-toed may not always look as though they're teetering on the edge of a face-first into the mud disaster but you don't have to watch one for long to get that impression.

How can this not topple face first into the mud...?

This would appear to be the answer, it's basically a foot with a small bird on top. It's not called Long-toed for nothing, that middle toe looks as long as the tibia!

A pale base to the lower mandible is one of the features separating Long-toed from Least Sandpiper, it's a good thing it isn't the only feature because even with these excellent views the yellowish base is really hard to detect.

This final image is lightened removing much of the colour from the plumage but the bill base colouration becomes a little more obvious.

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