BROAD-BILLED SAND­PIPER

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your Birding Month -

The rare lit­tle Broad-billed Sand­piper is par­tic­u­larly un­usual in be­ing a north­ern-breed­ing wader which breeds in Europe (Scan­di­navia), yet is con­sid­er­ably rarer in the UK than some North Amer­i­can waders. Birds in May and June are re­garded as spring mi­grants and from July to Sep­tem­ber as au­tumn birds! So, if one turns up this month, it is prob­a­bly re­turn­ing to the win­ter­ing grounds. Most (of the very few) are found in the east of the coun­try. Broad-billed Sand­pipers are no­tably smaller than Dun­lins (though larger than stints) with sim­i­larly long bills with a slight kink down at the tip. The head has dis­tinc­tive stripes, with a ‘split su­per­cil­ium’ of pale stripes above the eye. They are dark and streaky, with white bel­lies and, of course, never the black belly of a Dun­lin.

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