Name this wader, please
QThis rather poor photo was taken at long range at Titchwell in early September. I think it is either a Dunlin in full winter plumage or, hopefully, a Curlew Sandpiper, and I am inclined to believe the latter. Keith Galliford
ADunlins are a very variable bird, and are almost the default small wader in the UK, as well as being one of the commonest. The Curlew Sandpiper, on the other hand, is often the subject of wishful thinking, although there were plenty of sightings of the species at Titchwell this October (in fact, there was a very good autumn passage everywhere). The colouring could suggest either species, going into winter plumage, but the slim, long-necked structure is correct for Curlew Sandpiper. The bill also looks what we’d expect of a Curlew Sandpiper – long and smoothly curved.