White-rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis)
The solitary White-rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis) featured in the present post was discovered at an irrigation pond in Las Martelas (Los Llanos de Aridane) on the evening of Oct 12, foraging together with a Redshank (Tringa totanus), a Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) and a Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea).
I was able to get a few passable photos on that occasion, but all the images shown here were captured the following morning, Oct13, at the same pond. Of the accompanying waders, only the Curlew Sandpiper was still present.
What first attracted my attention to this Transatlantic vagrant was its elongated outline and long primary projection. The bill was the right shape and length for fuscicollis, but the appropriate brownish patch at the base of the lower mandible was not very evident. Identification was finally clinched (and Baird's Sandpiper discounted) when the bird obligingly did some wing-raising, thus providing a few glimpses of its upper tail coverts: the rump was very clearly white in colour, as can be appreciated in three of the present photos.
For comparison, the last four frames include the Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea):
White-rumped Sandpiper (left) and Curlew Sandpiper (right)
Curlew Sandpiper (left) and White-rumped Sandpiper (right)
The White-rumped Sandpiper has been recorded on all the Canary Islands, and this is my second on La Palma: the first was discovered at the saltpans in Fuencaliente on Oct 21 2010. (See Oct 22 2010 post).
Details of the present sighting will be submitted to the Spanish Rarities Committee in due course.