Possible Lesser Yellow-legs at Ash Island Ponds

To: "Robert Quinan" <>, <>
Subject: Possible Lesser Yellow-legs at Ash Island Ponds
From: "Alan Morris" <>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 19:18:41 +1000
Hi Birders,
On Monday I saw what I thought was an immature Ruff , a very brown bird, at the Ash Island Ponds. The bird was seen in the middle of the day in poor light and heat haze  and I did not see it fly but I was convinced about what I saw. I was sure that the bill looked slightly down-curved. Other people have subsequently claimed to have sen a Ruff at the site.
On Thursday afternoon at the same location Ann Lindsey found a bird, initially thought it was a Ruff but then in better light, considered that it might have been a Lesser Yellow-legs, a bird that she had recently seen in South America (not a bird considered by me at all). She returned to the Ash Island ponds first thing this morning, saw the bird in flight and in great viewing position. Saw that it had no wing bar, bright yellow long legs, white rump, black barring on the base of the tail, dark straight black bill. She rang me from Shortland and I returned to the site with Aaron Davies.
In the better light ( and with a better telescope) we saw this bird in flight (thanks to a Goshawk putting up the waders), saw the white rump, saw that the wings are longer than the tail, that the brown only goes down to the bottom of the breast and not onto the white belly, saw that there were spotting on the back and the back was greyish brown, and could see the white mark going from the bill to the eye ring and not beyond it. I think that Ann Lindsey is right and this bird could be a Lesser Yellow-legs. We await further confirmation. It is possible that there is both a Ruff & a Lesser Yellow-legs at the Ash Island Ponds.
And oops, I pressed the wrong button last night when confirming a meeting time with a colleague, and sent the message to Birding-aus instead of the next person in my address book.. My apologies.
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