One of the birds we didn't put on our Twitchathon list (which I'll leave
to Lawrie our team leader to boast about) was a very strange wader on
Buncoora Beach at Breamlea. It would be good to hear what others think
about this, and even better if some of you can go and look at the thing.
OVERALL APPEARANCE: Small stint-like wader, light grey-brown.
BEHAVIOUR: Was on the beach feeding with 2 Red-capped Plovers around
piles of seaweed/kelp or whatever it is in these parts. The bird
followed the Plovers around closely, associating with them rather than
the group of 4 Red-necked Stints which were also on the beach and flying
SIZE: Very close to R-C Plover, perhaps 1 cm longer due to longer tail.
LEGS: Dark-grey to black.
BILL: Olive-brown, longish (longer than width of head) and DOWNCURVED
slightly at tip. Possibly paler at base (I'm chacking this out today &
hope to get a photograph).
HEAD: Streaked crown, very indistinct white supercilium, tiny black eye,
ear-coverts greyish. Whitish chin and around base of bill.
BODY: Dense grey on throat, clearly demarcated (straightline as in
Pectoral Sandpiper but higher) from white breast & belly.
Feathers on back and wings mostly dark, with thin pale margins. Tail tip
dark and extending beyond folded wings.
IN FLIGHT: Prominent (but not broad) white wingbar. Rump black with white
at sides - roughly equal thirds WHITE-BLACK-WHITE, with clear separation
I'm off a little later to try to get some photos and a better description
of some crucial features. I'll let you know how I go if I can find it again!
Meanwhile, you may like to offer some suggestions. Dunlin is possible,
but the bill seems a bit shorter and the bird overall too small.
Temminck's Stint is OK for size and appearence, but not here, and not on
the beach. Suggestions, please...