Grey and very eye-catching!
For me at least. Don’t think I have quite seen one like this before. 40 years looking at Little Stints- national hotspot was at Frodsham Marsh where I grew up…Photographed by Ben Moyes with other fresh juvenile Little Stints at Hollesley, Suffolk, UK on 20th September (3 days ago)… he put the pics on his Twitter feed and I couldn’t help but get drawn in. Wow! What a curious looking bird. The very grey appearance, including and especially some coverts with some disconcerting little scapulars with orangey fringes made me think of some juvenile Red-necked Stints. It’s didn’t like quite right either but to make sure- belt and braces – I asked Ben to send the original pics for closer study. I also sent them to Nils van Duivendijk for a conflab. I/we do think it’s a Little Stint if one with a WOW factor 🙂
Why was it attention grabbing? Very grey plumage – unusual in mid-Sept, grey-centred tertials, no mantle white V’s, head pattern wrong for Little in mid Sept., orangey upper scapular fringes contrasting with greyness below. BUT. It’s long-legged, bill bit long and curvy, plumage not really strikingly Red-necked-like. No white broad French manicure scapular fringes, breast side pattern like a Little Stint etc. etc.
It has already begun moult to grey winter plumage which is a factor in its appearance- all those mantle feathers have been renewed together with some upper scapulars. Scary!
Anyhow- here it is.
See what you think: all photos by Ben Moyes- thanks Ben- good job!