Temminck's Stint

Calidris temminckii

13-15cm

Appearance

A small, slender wader who may have a low stance, so its belly runs almost parallel to the ground. Its wings are slightly longer than Little Stint, it has a bill with a subtle downwards curve, and its legs are greenish-yellow. There's always a clear division between the dark breast and the white underparts. In spring, the upperparts are grey-brown with a thin spread of dark flecks on the back, and the underparts are white, with grey streaks on the head, neck and breast. Winter adults are unlikely to be seen in the region, however the plumage is less distinct and more unified grey-brown on the upperparts. Juveniles are greyish-brown on the back; their pale-edged feathers give a scaly effect, and the underparts are white. When flying, the wings have a white bar and distinct white feathers on the outer tail.

Habitat

Predominately in eastern England when in the region, mostly on the margins of freshwater lakes, pools and marshes. Breeding grounds are primarily in the Arctic, on flat surfaces with short grass and crowberry, usually in close proximity to fjords, deltas, rivers or streams.

Character

If alarmed, has a habit of rising acutely into the air and then flying rather frantically. It is usually seen alone or in small numbers; it has a flat profile when viewed from behind, and its feeding activity is calmer and more deliberate than Little Stint.

Food

Diet includes beetles, flies, midges, and plant material.

Breeding

Females may go to the territories of multiple different males, resulting in her laying between one and three clutches, usually of 4 eggs. Female shares incubation if there's only one clutch, otherwise the males incubate initial clutch or clutches and she does the last one. Incubation takes approximately 21 days; young can feed themselves straight away and can fly after about 15-18 days.

Population

This is a scant passage migrant, though some birds breed in a secret location in Scotland. Adults depart breeding grounds in July and are followed by juveniles in August; majority of birds occur in the region during May. Approximately 100 migrating individuals are recorded each year.

Observation Tips

A trip to East Anglia in late April or the beginning of September may offer the chance to view one of these birds. If the view is far-range, some ways to separate this bird from the Little Stint are by noting the Temminck's Stint's proportionately longer wings and tail, and its slower, less frantic feeding action.

Voice

If alarmed, may take to the air with a 'tirr-tirrr-tirr' trill.
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