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Kyle Driggers writes of the Lake Contrary stint:

 (1) I distinctively remember that the one at Lake Contrary did have white on it's throat/chin that stopped abruptly at the top of the breast.  ...(2) Is this representative of a juvenile or alternate plumage? (3) Is there any question as to the identification?


(1) I do not recall seeing as much white on the stint's chin as is depicted in the Sibley guide. At least, if it was there, it did not contrast as much.

(2)  My recollection is of a bird in alternate plumage, which had begun to fade from red to pink. (The bird at www.oceanwanderers.com/RNS.NY.html  had not yet begun to fade). What Kyle may remember as "white" I may remember as "pink."

(3) The Lake Contrary  record, including photos, which I understand have been taken, will be reviewed by the Missouri Bird Records Committee. Although most people  who saw the bird (including myself) apparently believe it was a Red-necked Stint, the ID won't be official until the records committee reviews the write-ups and photos. Personal recollections are notoriously unreliable, so the committee will undoubtedly be most influenced by the photos and by any contemporaneous field notes that were taken. (I assumed that Roger McNeil and Chris Hobbs, who got there before me, would both be making reports, so I did not take written notes. Shame on me!)

Anyone who took field notes while watching the bird should submit them in a report to MBRC.

If you can't wait for the MBRC and want to speculate now, I posted the following on the 29th. Since then, I have seen a post that mentions gray primaries and lack of a slight droop to the tip of the bill as additional marks favoring Red-necked Stint. (I did not know enough to look for gray primaries or that Little Stint may have a slight droop to its bill, but did note the apparent absence of orange wing coverts and tertials.)

"Now for the question, which stint is it?

The following features favor Red-necked Stint:

Size: Significantly larger than Least, which I saw in direct comparison.
(But still in the "small peep" category; not close to Sanderling size)

Bill: Significantly thicker than Least's. Closer to Semi's, but lacking
bulbous tip. (At one point, the stint was standing with a Least on one side
and a Semi on the other!)

Throat: Throat and neck were rufous. A Little Stint should have had a white
throat, which this stint lacked.

Wings: Had long-winged look of R-N Stint.

Mantle: I did not notice any "braces". The scapulars and mantle generally
had significant amounts of rufous. I did not notice the orange wing coverts
and tertials the Little Stint is supposed to have.

Color: Although the  head and neck color were somewhat faded compared to the
Sibley illustration, I definitely thought the color was rufous, not orange.

Behavior: The bird fed slowly and deliberately. It did not dart around, as
the Little Stint is supposed to do.

The following feature may favor Little Stint:

Leg length: I was expecting shorter legs.

For me the two most persuasive marks are the bird's size (Little would be
close to Least, not larger) and completely rufous neck."


Bob Fisher
Independence, MO
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