As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Rare bird lands at Athens airport

A rare bird hailing from arctic North America was spotted in Greece for the first time ever (Reuters)
A rare bird hailing from arctic North America was spotted in Greece for the first time ever (Reuters) 
Athens' Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport (AIA) had a surprise unscheduled landing a few days ago when a Buff-breasted sandpiper, which breeds in the open arctic tundra of North America, made one of its rare appearances in Europe and the first-ever in Greece.

The Buff-breasted sandpiper, Tryngites subruficollis, is a small shorebird, classified as a calidrid sandpiper and currently believed to be the only member of the genus Tryngites.
Members of the Fauna Observation Team of the Airport's environmental service -- who are also members of the Greek Ornithological Society -- spotted the bird at the airport's southern border.

The Buff-breasted sandpiper is a very long-distance migrant and spends the non-breeding season mainly in South American, migrating usually through central North American. 

Occurring as an occasional wanderer to western Europe, particularly during the autumn migratory season, this was the first recorded sighting of Tryngites subruficollis in Greece. Its moderately small remaining population continues to decline and as a result it is considered Near-Threatened.

Arrivals of rare birds are not uncommon in the region of the AIA, and the Buff-breasted sandpiper was the 188th species of bird to be recorded there. (AMNA)

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