Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, The Coorong, SA, Australia, March 2006 - click for larger image The Coorong, SA, Australia
March 2006

The Sharp-tailed Sandpiper breeds in the tundra of north-east Siberia and migrates southwards mainly to Australia and New Zealand where they arrive in September / October. Here it tends to congregate on inland wetlands and on tidal mudflats and coastal lagoons. They fly back north around April.

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, The Coorong, SA, Australia, March 2006 - click for larger image The bill is about the length of the head and is pale grey and straight or slightly decurved. The legs can vary in colour from yellow to olive-grey. The crown is dark brown which emphasises the whitish supercilium. Upperparts show feathers with pointed dark centres surrounded by buffy edges. Underparts are whitish with brown streaks.
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, The Coorong, SA, Australia, March 2006 - click for larger image In flight the legs protrude just slightly beyond the tail tip. The tail is wedge-shaped and dark brown in the middle with lighter brown sides. The wings have a narrow whitish wingbar.
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, The Coorong, SA, Australia, March 2006 - click for larger image
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