Saturday 22 October 2011


White-Rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis).
Charca de Esparragalejo, Badajoz. 20-10-11 (Ángel Luis Sánchez).

In the last blog post we were "whining" about the lack of rare waders in September 2010; October now looks like being the month of American waders in Extremadura. On 19 and 20 October a juvenile White-Rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis) turned up in the pond called Charca de Esparragalejo. It was found on the 19th by Francis Prieto and next day was seen by Francis Prieto again plus Ángel Sánchez and Ángel Luis Sánchez. This is the first known record for Extremadura. And this makes..... a fair few new species in the region since this blog kicked off.

The White-Rumped Sandpiper is a wader that breeds in the arctic region of Alaska and Canada, wintering in South America. It is as rare vagrant in Spain with 46 accepted records of 84 birds up to 2008, most in the Canary Islands (66 birds), where there was a "massive" irruption in October 2005 (over 50 birds). Two Portuguese records are also known up to 2007. Very few have turned up in 2011; only three other 2011 records are known up to 20 October: one young bird in Galicia in September and October and two adults in Delta del Ebro (Rare Birds in Spain). Up to 2003 there was only one record in inland Spain, in Fraga (Huesca) in October 2001 (Steve West and T. Nievas).

The best field marks are its intermediate size between Dunlin and Little Stint, its white rump, eye stripe and long-winged appearance with the primaries projecting beyond the tail when at rest.

- De Juana, E. 2006. Aves raras de España. Lynx Edicions. Barcelona.
- Catry, P., Costa, H., Elias, G. y Matias, R. 2010. Aves de Portugal. Ornitologia do território continental. Assírio & Alvim. Lisboa.
- CR-SEO (Comité de Rarezas de SEO). 2010. Observaciones de aves raras en España, 2008. Ardeola 57(2).