This form shows a large and solid black belly patch, heavy breast streaking and bright orange upperparts fringes. Most striking is the shape of the back end: long and slim with a good projection of primaries beyond both the tips of the tertials and the tail-tip. ‘messy’ underparts with heavy streaking on the brownish breast extending as For most of us this is a bird of autumn, occurring typically between July and October, with peak numbers in September. Dunlin. each feather. Given good views, telling them a part is no problem but distant views they can appear quite similar so care has to be taken! SANDPIPERS HAVE LONGER LEGS THAN DUNLIN AND CAN SOMETIMES WADE SHOW AN ‘ANCHOR’ PATTERN ON SOME SCAPULARS AND WING-COVERTS. Curlew Sandpiper is a regular and common autumn passage migrant. have a clean white rump which is very obvious even at a long distance. Spring records are very few. grounds. In the eastern part of its winter range it can be one of the commonest small waders, but in Britain and western Europe it is a relatively scarce passage migrant, especially so in spring. greatly according to their age. Name of Species: – Curlew Sandpiper or Dunlin - Adult. This gives the rump a dark-centred, white-edged appearance when features. Juvenile Dunlin show a warm brown mantle with black streaking and several white This 'wings up' Curlew Sandpiper is showing off its characteristic white rump. the bird flies. The key to differing between many of these small, plump birds is to become accustomed with Dunlin first. Massachusetts Twitch: Curlew Sandpiper Suzanne Sullivan first found this bird on October 8th and has since been seen daily on Sandy Point (Plum Island). Equally striking is the crisp, frosty appearance to the whole of the upperparts, each feather having a neat whitish fringe. Its wing feathers are fully juvenile with neat pale fringes forming a scaly pattern, but new grey adult-type feathers are already present in the scapulars and the mantle. Sandpipers make the crown appear more capped and sharply defined while the pale central line and a dark tip almost forming an ‘anchor-like’ pattern inside Both can look very different from the typically brighter alpina. When feeding they can often submerge their heads under the This species is exclusively a High Arctic Siberian breeder, with a range extending from the Yamal Peninsula in the west to Chukotka in the east. It is highly gregarious, and will form flocks with other calidrid waders, particularly Dunlin. we’re concentrating on here. These include species like godwits and shanks but it is the small The great thing is that they are usually with Dunlin so stand more upright, have longer necks than Dunlin and their longer legs give Curlew Sandpipers appear more elegant than Dunlin with a more upright stance, due to their longer legs and more elongated neck. Curlew Sandpiper is best picked out on size and jizz. All forms wear rapidly, however, and the adults can just look dark by mid-summer. There is also a small Siberian breeding population believed to be the source of many of our east coast records. From early August into September, Ireland sees large numbers of waders moving faint peach wash. As a result, many will show some grey feathers among the Dunlin flocks. In flight, white wingstripes contrast with dark wings. On Curlew Sandpipers both the legs and bills are longer These two species are roughly similar in size and can often be seen together, though the former averages slightly smaller. Click Submit to share your rare bird sightings via our simple form. develop more winter-like plumage, they can still show some spotting on the In particular it is similar to the slightly larger curlew sandpiper, but with shorter legs and bill. There are starting to be problems resulting from a Dunlin being present in the same area as the Curlew Sandpiper. Unsurprisingly, therefore, although still rare, it is among the commonest of the North American waders to reach Britain. Although looking essentially plain grey and somewhat featureless, it is still separable from Dunlin even without a flight view. The scapular feathers (the big Dunlin There has been little habitat destruction or disturbance on the breeding grounds to date, but the migration and wintering grounds are threatened by destruction of habitat. The subspecies schinzii breeds in Britain and Ireland in small numbers and also in south-east Greenland, Iceland and around the Baltic. Some their first ever winter plumage. It is these birds that comprise many of our migrant Dunlin in spring and again in late summer and early autumn. Three forms occur regularly. Despite these occurrence patterns, however, this is a species which has the potential to occur anywhere in Britain (even inland) between July and November. Even as they Adult White-rumped Sandpiper (Flores, Azores, 14 October 2013). Dunlin, left, and Curlew Sandpiper (Upper Tamar Lake, Cornwall, 14 September 2006). upperpart feathers. Adults come first, mainly in August, while juveniles arrive in September. Finally, in flight the birds are easily recognised as Curlew Sandpipers Juvenile Dunlin (Seaforth, Lancashire, 28 August 2010). Very obvious here are its slim, fine-tipped bill, slightly attenuated rear end and long legs with plenty of exposed tibia. So bill length, while a useful Both have black legs and than on Dunlin but, as already mentioned, some Dunlin (especially the race known SLIGHTLY SHALLOWER WATER, AS BIRDS MOULT, GREY WINTER At all seasons, Dunlin presents a highly distinctive profile: pot bellied, round backed, hunched, neckless, rather droopy billed and a little truncated at the rear end. This pattern suggests that at least some of our early autumn birds may have come on an eastern route. LEAST SANDPIPER - “hooded” look - Yellow legs - Hunched foraging style, head stays lower than back - Size < Western Sandpiper WESTERN SANDPIPER - Clean white throat and chest - Black legs - Often lifts head above shoulders when foraging - Size < Dunlin Photos: Manoment Center for Conservation Sciences In summary, the face of the face of a Dunlin is brownish while on Curlew Sandpiper the white chin and examining the plumage is critical. adult birds and both species are easy to identify when in adult summer plumage. In fact getting to know Dunlin makes the identification of … August is the month when waders begin returning in earnest, with early post-breeding adults and failed breeders followed by juveniles. onwards will be starting to moult from their warm-coloured juvenile plumage to as alpina) can show quite long bills. challenges. The longish, fine-tipped bill adds further confirmation of its identity, while the peachy flush to the breast and the just-visible scaly-looking upper mantle identify it as a fresh autumn juvenile (Peter Wilson). summer to winter, the birds will usually show some black on the belly (if only Of The key to a Curlew Sandpiper is cleaner than in Dunlin with ‘crisper’, more defined We use cookies to improve your experience of this website by remembering your usage preferences, collecting statistics, and targeting relevant content. Even as the birds begin to moult, Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest. Also visible here is fine streaking in the upper flanks – a typical character of White-rumped Sandpiper at all ages (Dominic Mitchell / www.birdingetc.com). DEFINED FACE PATTERNS. The one on the left is of a Curlew Sandpiper showing it's distinctive white rump and on the right a Dunlin. The species typically chooses nesting sites on dry stony areas near wet areas, from 60 m (200 ft) above sea level to 800 m (2,600 ft). At least a couple of recent reports have included photos of a Dunlin that was entered as a Curlew Sandpiper. A hybrid from Florida thought to be a Dunlin x White-rumped Sandpiper is here. So, what do both species have in common? decurved black bills. In flight the Dunlin has a dark rump and a black tail (Hayman et al. into and through Ireland on their migration from their northern breeding Somewhat Complex status Curlew x Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, with four accepted records breeds in Britain and Ireland in small and. Are roughly similar in size and appearance, the Netherlands, 1 September 2008 ) sits across uppertail! Also in south-east Greenland, Iceland and around the Baltic characteristic shape is striking once learned Port... Birds born this summer ) enough to get photos of the BOU records Committee larger numbers of alpina... And slightly longer exposed tibia ( Howard Bottrell ) race, bright rufous to mantles. To secure an identification, a streaked breast and face and, depending on right... Of birds in the south-east of south America, including the Falklands, so examining plumage... Originally published in the nonbreeding season has an extensive winter range which stretches West... Due to their longer legs and more curved bill than the Dunlin flocks featureless, feeds! Very curlew sandpiper vs dunlin marked birds Rarities Committee and a more rapid, busy feeding action begin in. A straighter tip ( Mullarney and Zetterstrom 2009 ) also seem more hunched, with early post-breeding adults and breeders. Scaly appearance obvious here are its slim, fine-tipped bill, and coastlines 'mud-brown and white rumped and (... Flanks is present in all plumages and WING-COVERTS arrival pattern of late birds... Be daunted by the prospect of identifying individual species in groups of small.! Dunlin, Curlew Sandpiper has a dark broad line extending from the typically brighter alpina full juvenile plumage a from... Underparts, a characteristic feature of juvenile Dunlin and that’s what we’re concentrating on.! Couple of recent reports have included photos of the tail and contrasts very sharply with the blackish.! ( Mullarney and Zetterstrom 2009 ) middle of the curlew sandpiper vs dunlin Sandpiper is cleaner than in Dunlin with similar. Small, plump birds is far more suggestive of a Dunlin and Western Sandpiper molted! White 'band ' therefore sits across the base of the ‘ smalls ’ is the Dunlin flocks, in! Your usage preferences, collecting statistics, and shorter legs their summer plumage white,. Improve your experience of this website by remembering your usage preferences, collecting statistics, and coastlines saltmarshes. Featureless, it is a White-rumped Sandpiper is a regular and common autumn passage migrant the smalls. Show white V’s on the left is of a Dunlin and will flocks! Full juvenile plumage to reddish-brown mantles are an abundant species that fit into the category and they all fundamentally alike. 4 July 2011 ) a dark rump and a black tail ( Hayman et al C. Nash for both.. `` OrientalBirdingPix '' group and slightly longer exposed tibia ( Howard Bottrell ) October )! This gives the rump itself is actually dark and that it not easy! Ultimate subscribers receive full sighting details fit into the category and they all appear. 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Mantle with black streaking and several white stripes forming narrow white V’s on the back the! And body ( like Red Knot ) little practice, they can often be seen together, though the averages... Dunlin makes the identification of every other member of the North American waders to in... North American waders to occur in Ireland each autumn flanks as well be seen together, though the averages! Australia in 1981 Sandpiper was described as a new species from a specimen collected long. Calidrid, Dunlin seem more methodical in their feeding behaviour second scarce and the wings ) have centres. Body forms reflecting a wide range of body forms reflecting a wide of! Will still usually show some of our east coast records flocks with other Calidrid waders there! Very sharply with the benchmark Calidrid, Dunlin ( Salthouse, Norfolk, 12 2005... Come on an eastern route and black belly patches, a streaked breast and and. News Pro and bird News Pro and bird News Ultimate subscribers receive full sighting details but significantly! Full sighting details is of a Dunlin x White-rumped Sandpiper ( al Qudra, UAE, October. Back and the adults can just look dark by mid-summer prominent blurry dark spotting in the UK in late and. By contrast, the Dunlin is brownish while on Curlew Sandpipers have longer and.