Regular checking of our estuary birds has been quite productive over the last two years or so. I was scanning the estuary with binoculars and noticed a brown speck among the pied stilts, so returned to the car for the spotting scope. I first thought of a wrybill, but no the water was too deep. The bird then turned and I saw its needle-like bill and knew immediately it was a Marsh Sandpiper, a first for Whanganui. I had time to call another couple of birders, before the bird flew and disappeared in the distance, heading north. I have only seen one once before, at Foxton, some years ago.