Longgang spots new bird, China's first
A baird's sandpiper is spotted at a seacoast wetland in Longgang, Wenzhou, East China's Zhejiang province, on Sept 12. [Photo by Yan Zhiwen/66wz.com]
Baird's sandpiper, or calidris bairdii, was for the first time being spotted in China on Sept 12 at a seacoast wetland in Longgang, a county-level city administered by Wenzhou in East China's Zhejiang province, local media outlets reported.
The bird, mainly inhabiting the Americas, has been occasionally spotted in Japan but not yet in China.
"Wenzhou lies on the route of migratory birds from East Asia to Australia and is a spot for many of them to stop and feed, live through the winter, or breed," said Yan Zhiwen, a bird enthusiast and the first person to spot the sandpiper. Yan happened to visit Wenzhou to observe migratory birds a few days ago.
Baird's sandpiper is a long-winged, long-distance migrant similar to the white-rumped sandpiper but with warmer buffy-tan plumage. Its elongated body gives a horizontal impression when foraging, with a unique flattened oval shape when seen head-on. It has a black bill and a brown rump.
Breeding adults are rather pale with large black spots on their backs, while juveniles have a neat scaly pattern on their wings and back and have a warm buffy face and neck.
The bird is often spotted with flocks of other small shorebirds, but prefers drier habitats such as the grassy edge of a mudflat, seaweed-covered upper portion of a beach, or sod field.
Birds are an accurate indicator of environmental quality. The coastal wetlands of Longgang are home to a large number of snipers every spring and autumn, while in winter, ducks and gulls are frequenters of the area. Even the near-threatened East Asian population of Dalmatian pelicans and the vulnerable Saunders's gulls have visited the area.
The bird has a black bill, a brown rump, long wings, and buffy-tan plumage. [Photo by Chen Guanghui/66wz.com]