May 7, 2012 Least Sandpiper or Long-toed Stint?

Seward, Alaska Sporadic Bird Report

I received a call this evening from Tasha who, with Seth, Sadie and Sean had discovered a small sandpiper that resembled a Least, but could be a Long-toed Stint. I took a bazillion photos and sent them around to a few experts who know far more than I about this tiny shorebird that maybe shouldn't be here.

I have never even HEARD of a Long-toed Stint, but enjoyed watching this bird, whoever it was, immensely. It busily poked and prodded along the gravelly and muddy banks of a small fresh-water stream (tidally inundated.) I watched it pull out amphipods and even a caddisfly larva like a magician pulling rabbits out of a hat. Tasha and her patient crew watched it for over 3 1/2 hours, and finally, as the sun disappeared over the mountain, went home for a well-deserved dinner.

I'll post more when I get more information. Meanwhile, enjoy the photos. 

What do YOU think?

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Sporadic Bird Report Reporter 

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