Rare Birds in Spain


The Lesser Yellowlegs, Tringa flavipes at Aiguamolls de l'Empordà, Girona, November - December 2000

When on 16th November 2000 one first-winter Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes was seen at Gallinera rice-fields, Aiguamolls de l'Empordà Natural Park by the trained and skilled local ornithologist, Jordi Martí aided that day by Teresa Montràs and Anna Puig some of us believed the bird could not stay there for long. Almost one month afterwards it is still in Aiguamolls having become the only recent wintering record in NE Spain (yet to be accepted by CR/SEO). 

The bird was initially found in a rather out-of the usual circuit area within the Park where it was seen intermitently during the second half of November. Later, the bird started favouring the Matà ricefields, in a well-known area within the Park, where it was photographed and video-taped on 8-9.12 (see below and photo section).

Click on the image for a larger 736*570 pixels version (50 Kb) © Ricard Gutiérrez
Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes. Matà rice-fields. Aiguamolls de l'Empordà Nat. Park, Girona. 9.12.2000 © Ricard Gutiérrez. Note moulted scapulars contasting with juvenile feathers.
Archibebe Patigualdo Chico Tringa flavipes. Arrozales del Matà. PN Aiguamolls de l'Empordà. 9.12.2000 © Ricard Gutiérrez. Nótense las escapulares mudadas que contastan con el plumaje juvenil.
Gamba Groga Petita Tringa flavipes. Arrossars del Matà. PN Aiguamolls de l'Empordà. 9.12.2000. © Ricard Gutiérrez. Noteu les escapulars mudades que contrasten amb el plomatge bàsicament juvenil.

The Yellowlegs was a first-winter individual, as it had already started moulting some scapulars (see above photo).

In case of being accepted, this would be the sole second wintering - late autumn record as there is only one accepted record of an overwintering bird (18.11.1990 - 24.3.1991) in Fuerteventura, Canary Islands. There have been up to 1998 23 accepted records of this species. The analysis of 22 of them gives the overwintering Canary Islands sighting,  seven spring records (25.4.1991 to  23.5.1996 extreme dates), two early autumn records (13-14.7.1993 and 22.7.1997) and 13 proper autumn records from 12.9.1995 to 6.11.1998 (extreme dates).

In the nineties it has turned up to become an annual bird with up to three records per year, and the tencence seems to show a steady increase (pers. obs.)

Number of accepted records per year up to 1998 (n=23 of which 22 featured)
Número de citas anuales aceptadas hasta 1998 (n=23, se grafían 22)
Nombre de cites anuals acceptades fins el 1998 (n=23, es grafien 22)

Click on the image for a larger version (15 Kb) of this image ©Ricard Gutiérrez

Distribution of accepted records  up to 1998. Click on image
Distribución de las citas aceptadas hasta 1998. Clicar en la imagen.
Distribució de les cites  acceptades fins el 1998. Cliqueu en la imatge.

We include three more photos of the bird in the photo page.

Ricard Gutiérrez 11.12.2000

For more information of the Aiguamolls de l'Empordà Natural Park and their bird news visit their website here or here. Thanks to the Park staff for their friendship and help providing news on this and other birds.
Para más información sobre el Parque Natural dels Aiguamolls de l'Empordà visitad sus webs siguiendo los enlades aquí o aquí. Gracias al personal del Parc por su amistad y por enviarnos noticias de ésta y otras aves.
Si encara no coneixeu els Aiguamolls, a què espereu?. Per obtenir-ne més informació visiteu les seves planes web aquí o aquí. Gràcies al personal del Parc per la seva amistat i per enviar-nos notícies d'aquesta i altres espècies d'ocells.

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