Only hours after bemoaning the fact in Week In Focus that there had been no Little Stints in Northants this year, I did what any desperate birder would do – went out to my local patch and found one. Ok, so it may be pure coincidence but next weekend I’m going to try it again … with White-rumped Sandpiper 🙂
It’s a sad fact, though, that in recent years Little Stint has been relegated to (or promoted to, depending on your point of view) the status of very scarce passage migrant in the county. In the ‘70s and ‘80s we all took them for granted. Small numbers would arrive on cue every September at Pitsford and the other reservoirs; unfortunately, however, this is no longer the case. A quick look at the records over the ten years 2002-2011 gives an average of just 4 per year compared to many more than this during the latter decades of the last century.
Fresh autumn juveniles are beautifully marked birds. Catch ’em while you can!