Friday, 13 September 2013

The Stilt Sandpiper.

On Saturday 31 August a Stilt Sandpiper was found on Neumanns Flash in Cheshire where it stayed until Monday when it was spooked by a Sparrowhawk and flew off to Sandbach Flashes staying there until it was last seen on 7 September eight days after it was first found.

Stilt Sandpiper Martin Lofgren 

The Stilt Sandpiper (SS) is a North American wader that breeds in northern Alaska and Canada, and winters in South America, it is a very rare vagrant to the UK, the first of which was recorded in East Yorkshire in 1954. This bird was first seen by two schoolboy birders who were staying at the Spurn Bird Observatory, they found a wader on a marsh which they didn't recognise, but they saw the bird again the following day whilst accompanied by a third party, they alerted more people to the birds presence and by the time it had disappeared several observers had seen it. Along the way it had been suggested that the bird could have been a 'tattler', but a visit was made to the British Museum of Natural History in London where skins were examined, it was concluded that it was an adult SS in full breeding plumage, in due course the record was accepted as the first British occurrence of a Stilt Sandpiper.

It is quite interesting that a SS was found in Cheshire in 1984 - the very same county as this latest one 29 years later - this bird holds the record for the longest staying SS in the UK, it remained in Cheshire for six months. The only record of SS in Lancashire is of a bird at Hundred End on the Ribble in 1967.

The image above of the Stilt Sandpiper was taken at Jamaica Bay, Queens, New York, USA. Many thanks for this Martin it is much appreciated.    


Adam said...

cute sandpiper

Paul Foster said...

Nice write up on the stilt sandpiper Peter,always nice to know some good background info,rather than looking at just the image.Keep up the good work!!!