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Title: First occurrence of Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus (Say, 1823) in the Maltese Islands
Authors: Coleiro, Charles
Galea, Nicholas
Keywords: Birds -- Malta
Bird watching -- Malta
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Birdlife Malta
Citation: Coleiro, C., & Galea, N. (2020). First occurrence of Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus (Say, 1823) in the Maltese Islands. Il-Merill, 34, 90-91.
Abstract: Waders are well known long-distance migrants and it is not infrequent that some individuals overshoot their designated destination and arrive in areas where they do not normally occur, sometimes even on another continent. On 5 October 2012 at Simar Nature Reserve, a small wetland along the northeastern coast of Malta, a long-billed medium sized wader was noticed feeding along one of the shorelines within the wetland. At first glance it resembled a Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica but the curved bill was unlike that of any Limosa sp. The apparent long bill pointed to a Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus, which was further confirmed by its short and sharp shrill call uttered whilst flying around. It also had a broad and rather distinct supercilium, thus suggesting a dowitcher species. Further indication of this bird being a Long-billed Dowitcher were the tertials which had plain grey centres. The overall plumage suggested a first winter bird where the scapular and covert feathers had buffish fringes. This constituted the first ever sighting of this species in the Maltese Islands, and the record was accepted by the Malta Rarities and Records Committee on 7 July 2012, after a description of the bird and photographs were submitted. The bird stayed for 20 days in the nature reserve up until 25 October.
Appears in Collections:Il-Merill : issue 34 : 2020
Il-Merill : issue 34 : 2020

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