Darwin sighting of spotted redshank

Subject: Darwin sighting of spotted redshank
From: Bas Hensen <>
Date: Sun, 22 Aug 2004 20:55:45 -0700 (PDT)
This morning 7.30 am close to high tide (20 august 2004) on a sandbar accross from the Buffalo Ck road, near Darwin;
1 Juvenile Spotted Redshank
Unfortunaterly seen against the low rising sun, so colour of legs and beak not determined but folowing features clearly seen with scope:
A greenshank-like bird with distinct fine barring on belly and undertail.  This was the first thing I noticed after picking out this tall-legged wader for further inspection.  The bird was dark above and light-coloured, greyish overal, below.  The bars were fine  spaced evenly, and relatively widely, with interbar spacing about 3-4 times the width of the bars themselves.  Very much like on Pizzey's illustration.
Bill medium lenght , fine tapering and subtly, but clearly, decurved, dark.
Eyebar clear and back of head square shaped
The bird was close to eatern curlews, crested and gull-billed terns for scale
Lenght of legs with regard to lenght of body, which made a long shaped impression, seemed a bit less than greenshank, but the bird was mostly standing in shallow water. wings about lenght of tail.
Before I could make a move to get a more favorable lighting position it flew off all by it self, leaving all the other waders behind.  Because I was scoping at high power, and terns were flying up at the same time I missed the flight pattern.
The only bird that fits the bill in Pizzey & Knight is the Juvenile Spotted Redshank.
The size, gizz, bill, and barring leave little doubt in my mind.  Seeing the illustration (d) of a juvenile in Waders and Shore birds of the World reinforced this decision.
Never having seen a juvenile the barring, whch was distinct, threw me so much that I did not twig, and only decided on identification after returning home.  Bad work because I have seen spotted redshanks in breeding and non-breeding plumage frequently in Holland.
Nearby were
1 b.t. godwit, 1 great knot, 5 grey plovers, 2 red knots, 1 sooty oystercatcher ( a regular), 3 ruddy turnstones, lots of sandplovers and stints.
Hope this Redshank hangs around so that it can be confirmed by others.  Its preferred habitat is freshwater !
Cheers   Bas
PS the bird has not returned during the last 3 high tides. 
 An asian dowitcher was seen at high tide on 19/08, evening, and again this morning (23/08) in the same area.

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