Bird Watching (UK) - - July Id Challenge -

No, it is not a bird with an ab­surdly long bill! This wader is wrestling with a long worm which is putting up re­sis­tance. It ap­pears quite a rel­a­tively large headed, thick-necked, short-legged, chunky wader with quite a long black bill with a hint of down­curve near the tip. It ap­pears to be a Calidris sand­piper, and the down­curved bill and back toe should im­me­di­ately rule out the three-toed, short-billed San­der­ling. The plumage is grey brown and white, with pale fring­ing on the grey-brown back and wing feath­ers (with some grey win­ter feath­ers com­ing through on the man­tle). One key feature is the dark spot­ting on the flanks and belly, which are un­usual in calidrids, and are di­ag­nos­tic of ju­ve­nile Dun­lin.

KEY FEA­TURES †Dull grey-brown and white plumage †Looks thick-necked, large-headed and stocky †Quite long, slightly down­curved black bill; short dark legs †Dark flank speck­ling is di­ag­nos­tic

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