Sandpipers and Stints on the Marsh

As Chris eluded to in his last post, autumn migration is now in full swing, and that is particularly evident in the wading birds on Farlington Marshes. Over the weekend I noted that impressive numbers of Curlew Sandpipers and Little Stints were being recorded along the south coast of Hampshire, so on Saturday evening I nipped down to the marsh to see if I could get in on the action. High tide was around 8pm so I arrived at 6:30pm and headed straight to the stream, a favoured place for waders.

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Curlew Sandpipers – Farlington Marsh

As it turned out I had made a good choice and the first two waders I saw were two Curlew Sandpipers, followed by a Little Stint. They were feeding along the stream edge and giving some excellent views. They all appeared to be juvenile birds, unfortunately in the failing light my pictures do not highlight the striking plumage of them, particularly the Little Stint.

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Two Curlew Sands and a Little Stint

The birds were feeding in close proximity to each other and at one point a Curlew Sand stepped on a Little Stint pushing it completely under water – needless to say the stint looked a little put out by this incident. I continued to watch the group, and try and get some reasonable images in the failing light when a couple more Curlew Sands joined the group, followed by three more Little Stints.

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Little Stints – Farlington Marshes

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Little Stints – Farlington Marshes

With the light failing fast and the tide rising I worked my way along the stream to the lake and added another Little Stint to the tally; four Curlew Sands and five Little Stints. A mobile Ruff was a welcome addition to the list, but that was the only other species of note for me. Amongst the usual suspects the other wader species recorded included over 300 each Black-tailed Godwits and Redshank, over 100 Lapwing, Grey Plovers, Oystercatchers, Curlew, Dunlin, Turnstone, Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper and Greenshank, well worth a visit if you have the time.

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3 thoughts on “Sandpipers and Stints on the Marsh

  1. Great, informative blog! Can you please advise, is there a better time to go visit according to the tide? ie are we more likely to see more species close up at high tide? Apologies if this is a rather naive question
    Thank you

    • Thanks for your kind words Mr Jones; the largest numbers of birds will be on the marsh around high tide as they come onto the lake or stream to roost around then, but the stream can be good at any state of tide and the stints and sandpipers can be present at any time. It is worth checking the bushes too as there are good numbers of small migrants around at present, lesser whitethroat, whinchat, yellow wagtail to name a few.

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