Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis, 15 July 2000, Pike's Beach near Cupsogue, Suffolk Co., New York, USA

Here are a handful of videograbs of an adult alternate-plumage Red-necked Stint (Calidris ruficollis) taken at Cupsogue Beach, Suffolk County, New York on Saturday 15 July 2000. The bird was first discovered three days earlier by John Fritz and resighted by others over the follwing days. When we located the bird around 10:30 a.m. just after high tide, it was in loose company with a hundred or so Semipalmated and Least Sandpipers and several hundred Short-billed Dowitchers, Red Knot, Sanderling, Piping Plover, Semipalmated Plover and Willets. A handful of Western Sandpipers were mixed in with the Semipalmated Sandpipers. It fed by walking around on wet mud or sand probing or picking at the surface for food items. It also regularly paused to roost. Several times it was displaced by aggressive challenges from Semipalmated Sandpipers. Remarkably, a Little Stint was discovered on the same beach the next day and photographs of this bird can be viewed here.


Figure 1. Rusty-red on head, neck and throat extending onto upper breast. Relatively discrete border between the red area and bright white breast. A rather weak whitish supercilium extended from behind the eye and over the top of the auriculars. The supercilium was separated from a more obvious and much whiter lateral crown strip by a series of dark flecks. The rusty wash extended evenly across the throat, one of many features that rule out Little Stint (C. minuta) of comparable age. Note the drop of water collecting on its bill tip! (Image Copyright © of Angus Wilson)


Figure 2. Head on view. There was a pale border to the base of the bill, offset against the rusty-red Note the prominent arrowhead spots forming a diffuse 'necklace' across the breast. Legs black. (Image Copyright © of Angus Wilson)


Figure 3. Side profile. The wing coverts are largely gray. Long winged with several primaries visible. Notice the very long tertials, which blew around in the wind like decorative plumes. (Image Copyright © of Angus Wilson)


Figure 4. Head on view with crown dipped forward slightly. The crown was heavily marked with dark flecks offsetting a whitish split supercilium. (Image Copyright © of Angus Wilson)


Figure 5. Bill shown in side profile. Stout base and shorter than Semipalmated Sandpiper. (Image Copyright © of Angus Wilson)


Figure 6. The gleaming white underparts and reddish upperparts made the bird standout over considerable distance and could be readily followed in flight. Notice the concentration of rufous fringed wingcoverts at the 'shoulder'. The stint regularly paused to roost for a few moments, typically standing on one leg and would often tuck its bill under a wing. (Image Copyright © of Angus Wilson)


Figure 7. In this side profile, you can see the top of the weak mantle 'V' and the very dark (almost black) centers to the long terials, bordered by neat white edging. The wing coverts and mantle feathers were similarly darked centered with neat white edges. There were a small number of irregularly arranged chevrons and spots along the otherwise immaculate white flanks. Interestingly, these flank markings are not shown in many field guide illustrations. (Image Copyright © of Angus Wilson)


All video was taken through a Kowa TSN-4 scope with 20-60x zoom eyepiece. Unfortunately, some of the images are a bit dull and is due to the image capture process compounded by the heavy rain during the observations.


Copyright © 2000 All rights reserved. Angus Wilson
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