Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday 212 - Dunlin and Sanderling

The Brough of Birsay is a small island off the north-west coast of the Mainland island of Orkney - like almost all of Orkney it is very rich in archeological sites.  You can get to the island by walking over a causeway at low tide.  As we were returning from looking at the archeological sites I noticed a couple of wader dashing about in the rocks on the shore.

I got good views of one of them and knew it was a Dunlin - that black belly is a bit of a give away.  I assumed the second bird was also a dunlin, but inspection of the pictures I took show it to be a Sanderling.

One of the things that I find hard about identifying these waders in the UK is that I rarely get to see them in breeding plumage - by the time they arrive in Australia, there are in their non-breeding plumage, and generally looking less colourful.

So, here is a Sanderling (first two pictures) and a Dunlin (the rest).

Sanderling
Sanderling







When this post 'goes live' I will be deep in the Northern Territory - so I will be well and truely 'off the grid' as far as internet and such like.  So, don't get impatient if you dont hear from me for a while.  

Hope to be able to post some NT birds for next weeks WBW.

So, off you go, click the Blue Button and I'll see you when I get back!  SM

26 comments:

Brian King said...

Both are gorgeous birds! I really like the feather patterns!

Breathtaking said...

Hello Stewart!:) Have a great time!:) They do seem similar at first glance but I see the difference now. They are both lovely birds, with gorgeous plumage colours and patterns.

Gayle - venturesinphotos said...

Once again magnificent camouflage. Both beauties.

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Nice crisp shots of the feathers. I rarely get to see a Dunlin in breeding plumage. I did not know that Sanderling acquired the similar black belly. Are you certain it is not another Dunlin? I know that the Dunlin's bill can be somewhat variable and not seem to have much of a droop.

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

OOPS-- I was looking at the third bird, as I thought you meant the second bird after the Sanderlings! Sorry-- you are right on!

eileeninmd said...

Hello, pretty shots of both the Sanderling and Dunlin. I like the Dunlins showing their black bellies. Thanks for hosting. Enjoy your day and the week ahead!

Prunella Pepperpot said...

Gorgeous images of the Sanderling and Dunlin. Their markings are beautiful.
Thank you for hosting Wild Bird Wednesday. Have a wonderful week.

NatureFootstep said...

I love the sanderling even if I never seen it so colorful :) A wonderful bird.
Thanks for hosting. :)

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

I'm not much for names...I just know them as cute little brown wading birds.

TexWisGirl said...

i like the dark belly.

Pat Tillett said...

Really nice photos Stewart.
Enjoy your adventure!

Margaret Adamson said...

Both beautiful waders

Tony McGurk said...

Two lovely birds & a great collection of shots of them.
Have fun up North

photodoug said...

Stewart, great captures of these shorebirds. Thanks for sharing.

Missy George said...

They are pretty regardless..love their markings..

Marilyn Kircus said...

Neat to see birds we share. I finally got pretty good at identifying dunlun in the winter. But I've been away from them for over a year so will probably hve to relearn them. Thanks for the post.

pattisjarrett said...

That black belly is quite distinctive. Otherwise, I can see how they could get mixed up. You did a great job of capturing those beautiful colors and patterns. Hope you're having a great time!

A Quiet Corner said...

They even have pretty names, Stewart! Great photos considering how quickly shore birds seem to move...at least when I want to take their pic!!...:)JP

diane b said...

Hope you get to the wildlife bird show up there. These birds are pretty and very similar.

Adam Jones said...

When it comes to waders, the Sanderling is up there with my favourites. Lovely images, and like you say, not easy to distinguish in it's varying plumages. I always have to check the feet for that missing hind toe.

June Caedmon said...

Good eye, Stewart! Great captures of these two. Happy, safe travels!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

They look like friendly little critters :)

Lee said...

I hope you enjoy/ed your visit into the depth of NT. We expect some great photos when you resurface! :)

Lady Fi said...

That is a pretty bird.

Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening said...

Your photos of the Sanderling and Dunlin are beautiful. These shore birds both have such nice markings and they seem to have posed for you!

Chandra@GreenComotion said...

Remarkably beautiful bird!
And, exquisite snaps, Stewart!!
Have a Happy Sunday!!
Peace :)