Friday, 10 August 2012

The Dunlin and two others!

Having been in touch with GG, with his permission I'm able to post these photographs of three wader species at Rossall Point, all showing excellent plumage detail for study. 

I decided to single out the Dunlin to make a few comments.

Adult Dunlin.

The Dunlin is a well known bird in North America and Europe. The classic features of the species are its black bill, noticeably drooped at the tip, and black legs, breeding plumage shows a solid black belly-patch. The Dunlin - of which there are six races - is a variable species particularly in bill length and body size. It is an abundant small wader which I use as a yardstick when trying to identify similar species, not being yer average 'clever dick' it often causes me problems when trying to familiarise myself with its various plumage's. The bill length varies, birds of the race arctica have shorter bills than those of the race schinzii and the longer-billed is of the race alpina.

Juvenile Dunlin.

As can be seen in this excellent photograph, the juvenile has upperpart feathering of buff/chestnut edging, with - not all that obvious in this photograph - a lightly streaked breast and belly. The juvenile Dunlin is distinct until around the end of October by which time it is only possible to age in the hand by some retained juvenile feathers. Virtually all one year old birds acquire full breeding plumage.

In 2010 there was no evidence of breeding on the fells within our recording area. Interesting is that Clifford Oakes makes no mention of breeding Dunlin in Lancashire referring to schinzii as a summer visitor and passage migrant, and alpina as a winter visitor and passage migrant, further claiming that the two races cannot be distinguished in the field with certainty, he records a bird ringed in Norway in September 1938, and was recovered on the Ribble Estuary in February 1939.  


Another of GG's excellent photographs is that of the Sanderling showing equally excellent plumage detail. The species is seen in our recording area as a spring passage migrant, scarce as an autumn one, and a very rare winter visitor. 


And another of my favourite waders, the long distance migrant Turnstone with more excellent detail in plumage.

Thanks to Geoff Gradwell for these I really appreciate them, all excellent close detail images.

And finally....

Unidentified. Pete Woodruff.

I found this interesting creature in the garden recently, as can be seen as yet unidentified, the same goes for the flower....anyone?



JRandSue said...

Excellent Images.

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Hi Pete your Hover Fly is Helophilus trivittatus a rel bonny creature



Pete Woodruff said...

John and Sue....Good to see you back on Birds2blog. I appreciate your visit and am sure GG will appreciate your comment about his images which I agree are excellent.

Dave....Star man for the Hover Fly ID.

Surely I'm going to bump into you again sometime soon. I think the last time I was being 'stalked' in the Cross of Greet area by someone connected with birds of prey....interesting!