Nov 162021

Whilst I was on Shetland, news came out that a Long-toed Stint had been discovered at the RSPB reserve at St.Aidan’s, near Leeds in Yorkshire, on the afternoon of Friday the 8th October. It was originally identified as a Temminck’s Stint, then a Least Sandpiper, before finally being nailed as a Long-toed Stint. A mega rare wader that breeds in Siberia and winters mainly in southeast Asia, with smaller numbers in India and Australia. There have only been two previously accepted records in Britain, the first in Cornwall in 1970. Needless to say there was a huge crowd of birders on site on Saturday 9th October.

Fortunately, the bird did the right thing and stayed faithful to St.Aidan’s long enough for Dave N, Dave S and myself to see it on our return journey from Shetland, on the 13th October. A long awaited wader for many British listers. I had previously seen Long-toed Stint in Mongolia during a trip I made in 2019, but to see one in Britain was a dream come true.

A difficult bird to photograph properly as it was never really that close enough for the cameras.

Long-toed Stint – St.Aidan’s, Yorkshire – note the short tail-end appearance and quiet dumpy body.
Long-toed Stint – St.Aidan’s, Yorkshire – note streaked flanks and dark centres to upper body feathers
Long-toed Stint – St.Aidan’s, Yorkshire – note pale yellow long legs and long toes. Size difference with Dunlin

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