Monday, 28 November 2011

What Links The Axe Estuary And Rutland Water?

The answer is....a White-rumped Sandpiper!

It was sometime last week, and I was aimlessly browsing the interweb, clicking from blog to blog, and I came across Username's blog;

And I just happened to see this post here;

Which has this photo in it...

White-rumped Sandpiper Rutland Water (c) 'Username'

....I recognise this bird!!!

I quickly fired up BirdGuides and checked some dates, and surprise surprise, the Rutland Water
White-rumped Sandpiper was last seen on Sunday 6th November - the day before I found one on the Axe.

I have since been emailing various bloggers and photographers, and I am now convinced it is indeed the very same bird. There are several features that seem to match exactly, including the patterning of moulted (grey) and umoulted (much darker) wing feathers (coverts and tertials) and scapulars. The head pattern, breast and flank streaking is also exactly the same.

Other features include a dark mark on the body where the wing joins, and a couple of odd streaks or marks on the lower flanks. These are all pointed out (along with some of the obvious similarities in the scaps/coverts) here...

Please click to enlarge

The left hand picture is a still taken from a video clip filmed by 'The Drunkbirder' of the bird at Rutland. The right hand photo is one of mine.

The main problem I had when comparing the two birds, is that the photos of the Rutland bird were pretty much all excellent! Whereas all the photos of our bird were 'record shots' at best. (No offence to any of our patch photographers - the light was truly awful).

If you want to see some excellent pics of the Rutland White-rumped Sand, look here... (go left and right to see more)

I would like to thank all who have helped me from 'up north', in particular Dave Hutton, Colin Towe and John Hague. As a thankyou there will always be a link to your blogs from mine - oooohhhh I bet you are overjoyed at that ;-)

Actually, The Drunkbirder has written his own post about it, which can be found HERE.

Right, time to go out birding....


  1. Excellent Steve... I wish I knew how to do videograbs and stuff... even edit a few clips together might be nice but I'm a numpty!

  2. Hey John, I am also quite a numpty. All I did was hit 'screenshot', did a lot of cropping and there it was!!!! :-)

  3. Hey Steve...glad you sorted this bird out...excellent...!

    Always happy to help...

    All the best...Userbloke...