Tuesday 19 March 2013

Wader Quest species seen nº 11: Dunlin

Dunlin Calidris alpina

Titchwell, Norfolk, England.

1st November. Titchwell RSPB reserve, Norfolk England. (Also seen: Thailand: UAE; USA - FL, WA & CA.)

A few birds were seen on the beach they were in small groups scattered along the lower wetter parts of the sand. Small groups would fly up and down the water line in both easterly and westerly directions.

Probably the most familiar Calidrid to birders in the UK. It can be found in all seasons on many coastal beaches and estuaries and also on some inland waterways from time to time.

There are loads of subspecies of this bird, 9 in total. Those that we have seen could be, in the UK, birds on passage from the subspecies arctica, schinzii (which breeds in the UK), and  alpina, the latter probably also those that we saw in the UAE. In the USA pacifica would occur along the western seaboard in CA and WA and hudsonia along the eastern in FL.

Long-bill and bright spring plumage of hudsonia
Milford, Connecticut, USA
Juvenile, race unknown, Titchwel RSPB, Norfolk, England.

hudsonia, Sanibel Island, Florida, USA
The most numerous wader species, the Dunlin is Considered of Least Concern by Birdlife International this bird has a global population estimated at 4,6000,000 to 6,500,000 and although the general population trend is decreasing as are virtually all wader populations, it is not considered significant at this time.

pacifica, Ocean Shores, Washington, USA

Birdlife International (2013) Species factsheet: Calidris alpina. Downloaded from on 06/02/2013

Remarkably long-billed individual, Rhos-on-sea, Gwynedd, Wales.

For more information on this species see:

Birdlife International species factsheet:


Internet Bird Collection:

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