ID Guide: Long-toed Stint

Long-toed Stint
Long-toed Stint Calidris subminuta, Jiangsu, China, September. (Craig Brelsford)

by Craig Brelsford
Founder, shanghaibirding.com

Long-toed Stint Calidris subminuta is a common migrant along the Chinese coast. Regularly recorded inland. Winter records from Guangxi, Guangdong, and Hainan; also Taiwan. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Migrants prefer freshwater and brackish coastal habitats with vegetation but can occasionally be found on mudflats. Usually seen singly or in small groups. ID & COMPARISON Small, but slightly larger than very similar Least Sandpiper C. minutilla; more slender and longer-necked than Least, with longer legs and toes. Both species have long tertials covering wing tip, and hence show no primary projection. Least Sandpiper is slightly smaller and less bright and has a fainter white eyebrow that does not split; eyebrow of Least reaches bill and forehead, isolating the dark lores, but in Long-toed dark forehead meets lores at base of bill, and hence supercilium does not reach base of bill. Juvenile and non-breeding Long-toed resemble miniature Sharp-tailed Sandpiper C. acuminata. Breeding adults have black-streaked, rufous crown that extends to base of bill. Very narrow black lores. White supercilium, often split over eye, extends between lores and crown. Face, neck, and breast streaked brown or black. Mantle, scapulars, coverts, and tertials mainly black with rufous fringes and white tips (prominent white “mantle-V” in juveniles). Underparts in all plumages white. Non-breeding adult grey above, with dark-centered feathers fringed greyish-brown. Juvenile similar to adult, but brighter; has dark ear patch. Long legs yellow or green; in flight, toes trail behind tail; narrow white wing bar and white uppertail coverts divided by black central band from rump to tail. BARE PARTS Bill black, with pale base to mandible. VOICE Soft, liquid flight call. — Craig Brelsford

RESOURCES ON CALIDRIDS

Click the links below for coverage on shanghaibirding.com of species related to Long-toed Stint:

Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris
Red Knot C. canutus
Broad-billed Sandpiper C. falcinellus
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper C. acuminata
Curlew Sandpiper C. ferruginea
Temminck’s Stint C. temminckii
Spoon-billed Sandpiper C. pygmaea
Red-necked Stint C. ruficollis
Sanderling C. alba
Dunlin C. alpina
Little Stint C. minuta
Pectoral Sandpiper C. melanotos

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for my Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which the species description above is drawn.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Alderfer, Jonathan, ed. (2006). National Geographic Complete Birds of North America. National Geographic Society, Washington, D.C.

Brazil, Mark (2009). Birds of East Asia. Princeton University Press, New Jersey.

Brazil, Mark (2018). Birds of Japan. Helm Field Guides, London.

eBird (2020). eBird: An online database of bird distribution and abundance [web application]. eBird, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Long-toed Stint (https://ebird.org/species/lotsti). Accessed: 7 June 2020.

MacKinnon, John & Karen Phillipps (2000). A Field Guide to the Birds of China. Oxford University Press.

Message, Stephen & Don Taylor (2005). Waders of Europe, Asia and North America. Helm Field Guides, London.

Svensson, Lars, Killian Mullarney, & Dan Zetterström (2009). Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe. 2nd ed. HarperCollins, London.

Reach us: info@shanghaibirding.com

Be notified every time we post. Send an
email with “Subscribe” as the subject to
info@shanghaibirding.com

Donate to Shanghai Birding!




ID Guide: Red-necked Stint

Red-necked Stint
Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis, near Pudong Airport, Shanghai, May. (Craig Brelsford)

by Craig Brelsford
Founder, shanghaibirding.com

Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis is one of the more common shorebirds migrating along the Chinese coast. Some overwinter on southeast coast as far north as Shanghai. Regularly reported inland. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Migrants on mudflats and around coastal lagoons and marshes. Often in flocks, sometimes large, often mixed, walking briskly and pecking constantly. ID & COMPARISON Once considered conspecific with Little Stint C. minuta. Summer mostly rufous-orange on head, neck, throat, and upper breast. (Throat of Little Stint always white.) Fairly dense streaking on crown, light streaking on back of neck and ear coverts, rest of rufous area largely unstreaked (unlike Little). Forehead and chin white. Arrowheads cover top of upper breast below rufous hood; in Little, small arrowheads are always contained within the wash on upper breast. Sometimes arrowheads form necklace around upper breast; in Little markings more often confined to sides. Mantle and scapulars largely black with rufous and white fringes and tips; “V” of mantle usually absent, conspicuous in Little. Tertials and wing coverts mainly grey, contrasting with rufous mantle and scapulars; no obvious contrast in Little, as wing coverts and tertials also fringed rufous. Underparts below necklace white. Breeding Sanderling C. alba is a third larger than Red-necked, has shorter wings and longer and thicker bill, is red-brown on throat mottled with black, and lacks hind toe. Non-breeding more uniformly grey above than Little, which is usually a shade browner and has larger dark feather centers. Underparts white with grey on breast sides; usually well defined in Red-necked, sometimes extended as a complete breast band of diffuse speckles in Little. Little usually shows more streaking in grey on head and breast (but lighter than in summer); both have obvious white supercilium. Juveniles largely lack rufous coloring and have buffish breast-sides with diffuse speckling. Juvenile Little has rufous and white fringes to all of mantle, scapulars and wings. Non-breeding Western Sandpiper C. mauri has longer legs and more distinct, fine streaking on breast sides; breeding Western bright rufous on scapulars and ear-coverts and has rufous wash to crown (but not on breast) and chevron-shaped black markings on breast and flanks. In flight, shows typical calidrid pattern of narrow white wing bar and white uppertail coverts divided by black central band from rump to tail. BARE PARTS Feet short, black, unwebbed; Long-toed Stint C. subminuta and Temminck’s Stint C. temminckii have yellowish legs; Western Sandpiper has partly webbed toes. Bill blunt, black. Red-necked Stint has shorter legs, blunter bill, and more elongated body than Little Stint. VOICE Kreep or kreek call, longer, deeper, and more trilling than Little Stint, somewhat reminiscent of Curlew Sandpiper C. ferruginea. — Craig Brelsford

PHOTOS

red-necked-stint
Red-necked Stint, Jiangsu, China, September. (Craig Brelsford)
red-necked-stint
Jiangsu, August. (Craig Brelsford)

RESOURCES ON CALIDRIDS

Click the links below for coverage on shanghaibirding.com of species related to Red-necked Stint:

Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris
Red Knot C. canutus
Broad-billed Sandpiper C. falcinellus
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper C. acuminata
Curlew Sandpiper C. ferruginea
Temminck’s Stint C. temminckii
Long-toed Stint C. subminuta
Spoon-billed Sandpiper C. pygmaea
Sanderling C. alba
Dunlin C. alpina
Little Stint C. minuta
Pectoral Sandpiper C. melanotos

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for my Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which the species description above is drawn.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Alderfer, Jonathan, ed. (2006). National Geographic Complete Birds of North America. National Geographic Society, Washington, D.C.

Brazil, Mark (2009). Birds of East Asia. Princeton University Press, New Jersey.

Brazil, Mark (2018). Birds of Japan. Helm Field Guides, London.

eBird (2020). eBird: An online database of bird distribution and abundance [web application]. eBird, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Red-necked Stint (https://ebird.org/species/rensti). Accessed: 29 May 2020.

MacKinnon, John & Karen Phillipps (2000). A Field Guide to the Birds of China. Oxford University Press.

Message, Stephen & Don Taylor (2005). Waders of Europe, Asia and North America. Helm Field Guides, London.

Svensson, Lars, Killian Mullarney, & Dan Zetterström (2009). Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe. 2nd ed. HarperCollins, London.

Reach us: info@shanghaibirding.com

Be notified every time we post. Send an
email with “Subscribe” as the subject to
info@shanghaibirding.com

Donate to Shanghai Birding!




ID Guide: Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata, Jiangsu, China, September. (Craig Brelsford)

by Craig Brelsford
Founder, shanghaibirding.com

With breeding grounds high in the Siberian Arctic and a winter range extending as far south as New Zealand, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata is a champion long-distance migrant. In China migrates mainly along coast but regularly recorded inland. Common passage migrant Shanghai. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Migrants often in marshy areas with vegetation as well as on intertidal mudflats. Juveniles strictly on coasts. ID & COMPARISON Breeding shows distinct rufous crown streaked black, a white eyebrow that often flares at the end and that is streaked black or brown, chestnut ear coverts, dark lores, and a thin white eye-ring. Upperparts black or brown with rufous and dull white fringing to feathers. Bold black spotting or streaking on neck and breast turning into chevrons on otherwise white lower breast, flanks, and undertail coverts. Breast has buff wash that is less clearly demarcated than Pectoral Sandpiper C. melanotos. Juveniles have blackish feather centers above, with rusty fringes (more buff on wing coverts), giving scaly appearance. White lines along mantle and scapulars usually prominent (but less so than Pectoral). Head pattern of Pectoral less contrasting; supercilium of Sharp-tailed cleaner (especially behind eye) and chestnut crown more prominent. Juvenile Sharp-tailed is bright and has prominent orange breast and breast streaking limited to a narrow band on upper breast; rest of underparts white. Winter adult a toned-down, greyish version of summer adult; distinct rufous cap present, but duller, with streaking usually restricted to sides of breast. In flight shows typical calidrid pattern of narrow white wing bar and white uppertail coverts divided by black central band from rump to tail. Streaking on white sides of rump make rump look darker than Pectoral. Juvenile Long-toed Stint C. subminuta appreciably smaller than Sharp-tailed. Male larger than female. BARE PARTS Bill short, slightly curved, black, with pale base to mandible; feet greenish-yellow. Legs shorter and posture usually more horizontal than Pectoral. VOICE Shrill, continuous twittering. Also soft, repeated “plipp.” — Craig Brelsford

RESOURCES ON CALIDRIDS

Click the links below for coverage on shanghaibirding.com of species related to Sharp-tailed Sandpiper:

Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris
Red Knot C. canutus
Broad-billed Sandpiper C. falcinellus
Curlew Sandpiper C. ferruginea
Temminck’s Stint C. temminckii
Long-toed Stint C. subminuta
Spoon-billed Sandpiper C. pygmaea
Red-necked Stint C. ruficollis
Sanderling C. alba
Dunlin C. alpina
Little Stint C. minuta
Pectoral Sandpiper C. melanotos

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for my Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which the species description above is drawn.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Alderfer, Jonathan, ed. (2006). National Geographic Complete Birds of North America. National Geographic Society, Washington, D.C.

Brazil, Mark (2009). Birds of East Asia. Princeton University Press, New Jersey.

Brazil, Mark (2018). Birds of Japan. Helm Field Guides, London.

eBird (2020). eBird: An online database of bird distribution and abundance [web application]. eBird, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (https://ebird.org/species/shtsan). Accessed: 29 May 2020.

MacKinnon, John & Karen Phillipps (2000). A Field Guide to the Birds of China. Oxford University Press.

Message, Stephen & Don Taylor (2005). Waders of Europe, Asia and North America. Helm Field Guides, London.

Svensson, Lars, Killian Mullarney, & Dan Zetterström (2009). Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe. 2nd ed. HarperCollins, London.

Reach us: info@shanghaibirding.com

Be notified every time we post. Send an
email with “Subscribe” as the subject to
info@shanghaibirding.com

Donate to Shanghai Birding!