Image 1 of 1
Dunlin Calidris alpina (L 17-21cm) is the yardstick by which all other small waders should be judged. Get to know it in all its different plumages and you will have overcome the biggest hurdle in identification of other similar species. Several different races, with differing bill lengths, occur here outside the breeding season. Forms large flocks in winter. Summer adult has reddish brown back and cap, and whitish underparts with bold black belly and streaking on neck. Male is usually more boldly marked than female. Winter adult has uniform grey upperparts and white underparts. Juvenile has reddish brown and black feathers on the back; pale feather margins align to form ‘V’ patterns. Underparts are whitish but with black streak-like spots on the flanks and breast; head and neck are brown and streaked. Voice Utters a preeit call; breeding ‘song’ comprises a series of whistling calls. Status Local breeding species on damp moorland and mountain habitats. Locally abundant outside breeding season due to migrants from Arctic.