Little Stint at Altona Saltworks, Victoria - Update

Subject: Little Stint at Altona Saltworks, Victoria - Update
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2006 12:55:39 +1100
Dear Birding-Ausers,

Further to my recent posting on the Little Stint (LS), Fred Smith first 
saw this bird on 14 Jan.

Ro and I went looking for it again (for the third time) yesterday (Sunday, 
22 Jan).  We relocated it eventually in an area quite close to where Fred 
originally saw it.  For those who know the saltworks, Fred initially found 
it in a pond immediately to the west (I think) of the "tern ponds", where 
about 1-2,000 Red-necked Stints (RNSs) are often roosting.  We saw it 
yesterday in a pond immediately to the north (just on the other side of 
the road) of the "tern ponds" with a small number of RNSs and Sharp-tailed 
Sandpipers.  It will presumably stay in that general area with the flocks 
of RNSs.

(The "tern ponds" are so named because they are where Common Terns used to 
roost in some numbers.  They are two linked ponds with a row of fence 
posts across them in an east-west direction and partially across them in a 
north-south direction.  Lots of RNSs and other waders are feeding and 
roosting in these ponds at the moment.)

For those who don't know the saltworks, the rangers know the area where 
this bird has been located.

The LS was in breeding plumage, which is why it can be identified.  I 
agree with Fred in that it is an adult in worn breeding plumage.  I have 
now looked at about 2,000 RNSs at least a couple of times each and none of 
them are in breeding plumage.  So, the LS stands out, if you can find it, 
because it is much brighter than any RNS currently, particularly on the 
back and wing coverts.

It was only 33 degrees when we got there at 8.30 am yesterday and 42 when 
we left at 11.30.  But, it was worth the trip.


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