As usual for April there has been a slow trickle of dunlin through with the highest daily count occurring yesterday with 7 birds being present, plus the bird below. Yesterday morning the bird was on the southeast bank, a stiff NNE blowing with a low powerful sun plus a watchdog of a grey plover spooking everything when ever I got near meant crap views and even worse images. I returned yesterday evening but failed to locate.
I returned this morning and noted the bird with 2 normal dunlin working their way north along the west bank between the waters edge and the rush. I hid my scope and tripod and proceeded on hands and knees towards the waters edge, hoping to be in place so the birds would be walking towards me. I was soon joined by 2 bullocks who thought this was great fun, but provided me with added cover [hopefully Professional Indemnity].
I could not make out a split supercilium or any signs of a mantle V which sadly rules out broad-billed sandpiper. The bird appeared to have an identical feeding action as the accompanying dunlin with the side on silhouette / topography indistinguishable. As for plumage, the mantle and coverts appear to be dunlin but I'm ready to be corrected. The flight shot below appears to support the theory that the bird is an aberrant dunlin or dunlin hybrid, I hope I'm wrong. [ps this is the answer Phil and myself came up with yesterday over a cup of tea and biscuits while viewing some crap distant blurred images].
|White bellied bird in front with 2 dunlin following.|