Monday 10 October 2011


Buff-Breasted Sandpiper (Tryngites subruficollis), juvenile. Galisteo Lake, Cáceres, 05.10.2011 (Javier Prieta).

After a September with no news of vagrant waders in Extremadura, October kicked off with the interesting sighting of a Buff-Breasted Sandpiper (Tryngites subruficollis) at Galisteo (Cáceres) on 05.10.11. The lucky observer this time was the person writing this blog post (by name of Javier Prieta). This is the second ever record for the region after the first one in 2010, also in October, at Valdecañas on 15.10.10 (click here for more info). Both birds were juveniles, like most Spanish records. As on the previous occasion this Buff Breasted didn't stick around; birders who went there to see it that same afternoon lucked out.

As in 2010 this sighting coincides with a big influx of Buff Breasted Sandpipers in Spain. According to Rare Birds in Spain at least 30 different birds were seen in September and another 4 in the first days of October. All these sightings were in coastal provinces (Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Catalunya, above all, Valencia, Cádiz, Canarias...), except for this Extremadura bird. The 2010 irruption was put down to successive Atlantic storms but there weren't any in 2011 so another explanation will have to be "invented". To find out more about this delicate American wader, see the 2010 post (click here).