Charca de Esparragalejo (Badajoz), 21.10.11 (Sergio Mayordomo).
October continues to be American wader month in Extremadura. Now it's the turn of the Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos), seen on 21 October 2011 at Charca de Esparragalejo (Badajoz). The sighting was quite serendipitous, because the target bird of the visit was the White-Rumped Sandiper seen on the same pond the day before. The White-Rumped failed to appear but this Pectoral popped up instead. It was found in the morning by Sergio Mayordomo; in the afternoon it was seen at least by Miguel Rouco and on the next day (22 October) it was seen by quite a few more observers (Ángel Sánchez, Francis Prieto, Elvira del Viejo, A. Cangas, Agapito,...). And on this day there was also a Temminck's Stint around... just for good measure . .
Of this month's three Nearctic sandpipers (click here and here), the Pectoral is the commonest. In Spain it is still rated as a vagrant though perhaps not for much longer, since nearly 300 birds have been accepted up to 2008 while in September and part of October 60 more were seen, including several inland records (Burgos, Palencia, Navarra, Albacete...). This bird will be at least the eighth for Extremadura, all juveniles on autumn passage. The sighting of two birds on Galisteo Lake (Cáceres) in September 2010 was previously reported in this blog. To find out more about this previous sighting, all other Extremadura records and general info on the species, click here.