Tuesday, July 31, 2012

White-rumped Sand reported Brownsea

Twitches to Brownsea now involve 2 boats for me, which makes it a bit of a pain.
Here we are on the first one (more of a Ferry really) waiting for Mungo to go through.

Despite the hold ups, managed to make my connecting boat to Brownsea.
Shaun was also aboard and we were soon discussing how straightforward it was to identify White-rumped Sandpipers!
We were soon scanning the waders and came across an odd looking one.
As with a lot of Brownsea waders it was some distance away. What we saw was clearly not a Dunlin but not clearly a White-rumped Sandpiper. In most respects it looked like a WRS however the primaries appeared not to extend beyond the tail. 

Further scrutinisation came up with more questions than answers. Many features were pointing to WRS, the overall plumage, size, feeding action etc etc but no matter what angle we looked at, it just didnt have long enough primaries. We also couldnt see any flank markings which one would expect on an adult WRS, this however could have been down to the distance we were viewing it rather than the definite absence of markings. 
I managed to get a few shite photos whilst we prayed for it to get up and start flying around so we could see the rump.

 We never got any closer views than this and very brief flight views were inconclusive.  As it looked very close to WRS, we discussed the possibility of it being in primary moult but after looking it up, found out they dont start their moult until the winter quarters. We left the island not knowing what we had seen.