Separating Lesser Sandplover from Greater can be problematic ESPECIALLY when dealing with a single bird- for me I use this simple rule one that provides a BASIC guide to ID for all ssp of both species. This works well on a square-on photo also note the eye shape and shape of angle of forehead
This is not foolproof
It involves working out the distance between the back of the eye to the foremost feathering where it joins the upper mandible compared to the distance on to the end of the bill.
For Greater Sandplover the ratio is almost equal - distance eye to bill same as bill length - bill has a dagger like tip
*plus nail is less prominent but almost half bill length and tip is pointed
For Lesser Sandplover the bill length is always much shorter
*plus bill is more robust and nail is more prominent but it is only around one third bill length - bill has a blunter tip
Have you seen one !!!!!!!!!!!
Slender-billed Curlew photographed by Richard Porter
1 Jan 1984 at Hodeidah, Yemen.
The conclusion is that this is in fact a little stint - probably a ssp that we are not used to
Seen near Dur on the eastern shore of Bahrain in a small wadi being used to dump semi treated water - (smells a lot but the birds like it) as always when you get a problematic bird its always too far or badly placed in respect to the sun to get a good photo; this bird was both - just didn't look right for the usual little stint as seen around such pools - have ruled out the bigger sandpiper and Temmicks which it certainly isn't. The camera can lie but looking at the pics am at odds to possitively identify the bird.
THE PROBLEM BIRD
JUST FOR REFERENCE our normal model - Little Stint
same Little stint as above but keeping company with a Kentish
I received the following email and photograph from an old friend Ian Best this morning
This bird landed on Paul Kennerley's boat about midday yesterday and remained completely helpless and apparently tame ! Catherine handed it over to me - I kept it overnight and today - as texted - it seemed to make an amazing recovery - so was obviously exhausted !! Sorry pictures so bad - she was livening up fast by now !! Hopefully they are good enough to identify ? Have now released it into the garden as you suggested and it is now perched happily in one of the trees.
I have tentatively put it down as a Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus but as we all know ID from photographs has its own problems so I could be wrong - would welcome any comments -
But a nice story anyhow
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