26 May 2016

Victorian Little Stint - Mai Po, 2nd May 2016

Little Stint - Calidris minutus

Every spring I try to note as many migrant wader leg flags as possible, and either write the letters/numbers down or get a photo.

Then I'll report them on the appropriate thread on the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society website.


These will then be reported to the organisations in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway by co-ordinating BWS staff, YU Yat-tung or Ivan TSE, mainly.

Spring passage is over and it's feedback time - so here's a self explanatory response from the Australian Wader Studies Group, Victoria.

"....Please check the information given below and advise me if any details appearincorrect.

A Little Stint Calidris minuta was sighted by John and Jemi Holmes at: MaiPo, Hong Kong (China) 22deg 29min 0sec N, 119deg 14min 0sec E  on 2/05/2016with flag(s) as follows:
      LEFT leg: nothing/unknown on tibia (upper leg) above metal band ontarsus      RIGHT leg: orange flag on tibia (upper leg) above nothing/unknown ontarsus

This bird was flagged in Victoria (Australia), approximate co-ordinates38deg 0min S, 145deg 0min E, which uses the flag combination Orange.
The resighting was a distance of approximately 7245 km, with a bearing of334 degrees, from the marking location.
Plumage described as: Breeding.

This is the first time a flagged Little Stint from Victoria has been seenanywhere else.

Only nine known Little Stints have been flagged in Victoria since 1978.

Due to the difficulty in identifying these (from Red-necked Stints) innon-breeding plumage, it is likely that this bird was not recognised as aLittle Stint when banded.

A great record.

Thank you for contributing to shorebird research studies in the EastAsian-Australasian Flyway.  The information you have helped to collect isvaluable for scientific and conservation purposes."


  1. Congratulations John and Jemi. What a great sense of satisfaction this must have given you. It just proves that conventional banding is still an important research tool.

    1. David, yes I think so too. Putting letters on wader flags is even better, but the Aussies currently take a view that stints are too small for lettered flags, unlike the bigger waders.

  2. I wouldn't have been able to identify a non-breeding Little Stinta either.........even if I was holding it in my hand............

    1. Stu - no I can't tell Red-necked and Little Stints apart either, unless they're in pretty full breeding plumage.This one had gained some colour between Victoria and HK !

  3. A fine photo as well as a great find. The only stint I have been able to identify was a Red-necked Stint in Homer, AK in early May some years ago. It was in prime breeding plumage.