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Hello birders,
Its been just over a year now since i left Victoria for my temporary life down under in Christchurch, NZ. It has been an amazing time and a very easy transition from life in British Columbia. I recently had an exciting sighting. The reason i share it here with you is because it was not only a first record for New Zealand but also an internationally exciting record.(Found by a B.C. birder) On November 25th i photographed a bird at Lake Ellesmere (the premier wader spot on the south island) that i thought was a Pectoral Sandpiper. Down here a Pec is a noteworthy bird, and the Sharp-tailed are the more common summer migrant. Excited about my find i shared it on the bird forum here and was quickly met with some scepticism about my bird. The bill was to long, the chest markings to faint, and it also had very dull plain upper parts and lacked colour in the legs. The images were sent out for confirmation to some wader experts in Australia for confirmation. As it would turn out what i had stumbled across was a Cox's Sandpiper(PectoralXCurlew Sandpiper). I wanted to share with you this article that contains more details about the find, and a couple of my images of this mega obscure hybrid.
Can't wait to visit B.C. this summer and hopefully get out birding with some of you,
Mike Ashbee
Christchurch, NZ
Wow, congratulations Mike! Unbelievable find! :) Great photos too, it is a beautiful sandpiper!

Can this species reproduce or are they always first generation hybrids? Do they act as their own population distinct from Curlew and Pectoral Sandpipers, or is that still not known?

Again, congrats on finding the world's rarest bird!

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