You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
It was one of just five recorded sightings of the bird ever in New Zealand.
The little stint or calidris minutus, which is smaller than a sparrow, was seen at Kaitorete Spit by Keystone Ecology ornithologist Niall Mugan.
Christchurch City Council ornithologist Andrew Crossland said the unusual sighting is a case of “migration overshoot” and the bird is about 12,000km from home.
"This sighting is pretty awesome and it really cements the legend of Lake Ellesmere in the ornithological world. It’s such an amazing place for wildlife."
Mr Crossland said Lake Ellesmere is one of New Zealand’s most important sites for migratory birds from Siberia and Alaska.