Name this wader, please

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View -

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.

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