Sunday, 15 July 2012

WESTERN SANDPIPER in SWEDEN - 2nd record ever

Sweden's second ever Western Sandpiper is currently foraging with Dunlins on seaweed banks in a small bay on the island of Ă–land in the Baltic Sea. It was found yesterday 14 July and has been present all day today, to the delight of hundreds of twitchers. The first record of this species in Sweden was 24 years ago, back in August 1988.

It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on the age of the bird. As far as I can judge, a number of scapulars must have been replaced quite recently by pale grayish second winter types. A few older summer scapulars are mixed with these new feathers, and all together contrasting to the more worn and brownish-gray lesser and median secondary coverts. The head also appear to be newly molted due to the lack of rusty tones on the crown and ear coverts.

The question is if it can be safely identified as a second cal. year individual, or if a non-breeding adult can look like this?

A number of record shots are available at the following addresses:

David Erterius, Sweden

(On behalf of The Swedish Rarities Committee)