Spurn Waders

From far and wide

by Martin

Just a few musings from last week. Great to see Curlew Sandpiper a bird that undertaken a pretty amazing journey from Central Siberia- only calling off here ‘en route’ to wintering ground (probably) in West Africa.  I found a similar moulting adult at my native Frodsham Marsh as a teenager one late July and the Merseyside legend Eric Hardy mentioned it one of his weekly broadcasts on Radio Merseyside. T’was such an honour!


Spotted Redshank has probably not come as far- but always a smart bird to see. Likely this same adult arrived at Spurn as a fully black breeder earlier in the month and is well into moult- even shedding feathers on this video clip:


Northern Dunlins Every early August for the past few years I have looked for some ‘centralis‘ with their cinnamon/ buff fringed wing coverts. Most of the adult Dunlin last week at Spurn were , I think, schinzii with increasing numbers of more Northern ‘alpina’ marked by bright colours and more advanced wing and covert moult; often having obvious gaps in primaires and already new silver-finged fresh coverts. Here is one such:


I do think the most parsimonious explanation of some outstandingly bright Dunlin– rarely seen- is that we get some from NE Siberia/ Pacific Rim every so often- though not sure many folk are looking? They are missing out!


About Martin Garner

I am a Free Spirit
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3 Responses to Spurn Waders

  1. jjs180978@gmail.com says:

    Curlew Sandpiper was the most numerous wader in Spain last week. We saw many hundreds of adults along the west coast. Got me thinking how few we actually see in the UK in comparison, only a tiny percentage of the population of this fantastic wader.

  2. rOGER q sKEEN says:

    Curlew Sandpiper is a common wintering wader on the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda. But not sure whether they are the same birds as pass through UK.

  3. Marc Hughes says:

    Interesting. We noted the same in Algarve, Portugal last week- many Curlew Sandpipers on all wetlands we visited. We get very few adult birds passing through North Wales in autumn, however, good numbers of juveniles appear from early September. I’d be interested to hear what route do the adults take? Are the birds in southern Europe at the end of July / beginning of August failed breeders?

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