Dunlin, Calidris alpina

Patterns of white in the wing and origins.

Agh- the glorious annual autumn wader fest continues. yesterday was dominated by flocks of Knot flying south from High Arctic breeding grounds pasting over the head at Flambrough. Thornwick Pools continues as a hot spot of excellent variety and great views of with Wood and Green Sandpipers, Little Stint, Black-tailed Godwits, Knot etc.

knot (1 of 1)

Knot flying south past Flamborough yesterday- probably originating in Greenland!


Dunlin Treat

My little treat was watching a  flock of fresh baby Dunlins as various stage of moult from their bright fringed juvenile feathers into duller plain greyer ones on the upperparts Most I suspect now with slghtly longer bills are nominate alpina. One piece of plumage information which is interesting to record is the pattern of white in the primaries.

Basically on the 3 Dunlin taxa regular in W Europe- schinzii, alpina and arctica, white marks are separated from the feathers shafts (which are also whitish ) by dark feathering.

However in (some)  eastern taxa including e.g centralis and pacifica and as well as the North America hudsonia, the white joins of the feather meets the shaft (‘rachis’ in old money) producing a bigger whiter looking, Sanderling- like wing – bar.

Summat else to look for, especially with what our cameras can do now.

Dunlin 3 (1 of 1)Dunlin s landing 16th (1 of 1)dunlin5 (1 of 1)dunlin10 (1 of 1)




A little wing stretch reveals the white pattern in the primaries


dunlin6 (1 of 1)dunlin7 (1 of 1)


And some other glorious shorebirds on me patch…


juv-Ruff-1-of-1 ad litle stint 4 (1 of 1) ad Little Stint (1 of 1) mix of waders b (1 of 1) ruff 3  1500 (1 of 1) wood sandpiper (1 of 1)


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