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Which Wader could this be? (1 Viewer)


Frank van de Velde

When birdwatching in the Reserva Natural do Estuário do Sado in Portugal (Alentego region at the coast, near Setúbal) last Monday I encountered many Dunlins and Common Ringed Plovers, quite some Ruddy Turnstones and Sanderlings. But also in poor light (against the sun) on a quite distant mud bank I saw some very small Waders I couldn't ID.

I took 2 images hoping against my better judgement (as these pictures are much too low res, showing almost no detail) that someone could help me ID these little Waders.

The first image is the only only somewhat sharp: 20181001-085022_FZ300__1020508.jpg. The birds I'm hoping to ID are #5 and #6 from the left. Bird #3 and #4 I think are Dunlins, #7 is a Ruddy Turnstone and #8 (partially obscured by #8) a Ringed Plover.

The same image (20181001-085022_FZ300__1020508.jpg) is attached in a wider version as well (third attachment), the birds to the right might be a useful reference for size comparison.

I realise that the images are probably not good enough, but I would be most grateful if some could help me put a name to those small Waders.
Bye, Frank


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  • 20181001-085022_FZ300__1020508 all.jpg
    20181001-085022_FZ300__1020508 all.jpg
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Well-known member
I'm not sure 3 & 4 are Dunlin. 6 looks like a Dunlin to me as I'm seeing a black belly patch, and I'd assume 5 is also a Dunlin.

3&4 are maybe Knot. Still an area I'm learning in, so don't take my word on it.


Frank van de Velde
Thank you for your reply. Yes, we thought about Dunlins as well. We saw many, although only one of those was still in its summer plumage. These seem very small however (compared to the neighbour Ruddy Turnstone and Ringed Plover). A possibility could be that the black belly patch is mud. Although that would make an ID nearly impossible unfortunately. (I'm a beginning birder, so I'm far from sure.)
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Simon Wates

Well-known member
I think they are most likely Little Stints; small size, general colour/tone and structure suggest this. Also, the chance of being something that looks similar would basically mean a rarity - and as there are more than one bird..... Of course Temminck's could also be a possibility but again, much much less frequent and colour looks too warm for that species in the photos to me. Of course, with these photos 100% ID is quite impossible ;)
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