Is a win­ter plumage in July pos­si­ble?

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View -

QI am a keen 13-year-old bird­watcher, and I saw this wader on the Farne Is­lands when I took a birth­day boat trip to see the var­i­ous seabirds. I think it re­sem­bles a win­ter plumage Dunlin, but this photo was taken in late July. Please help me work out what this bird was! Daniel Mea­cock

AWe think you’re right Daniel, with the bill length and down-curved shape and gen­eral struc­ture look­ing right for Dunlin. The rea­son it is in win­ter plumage is, of course, not pre­cisely clear. How­ever, some­times, if a bird is in­jured or un­well its body re­sponds by shut­ting down en­er­get­i­cally ex­pen­sive ac­tiv­i­ties such as moult­ing. This bird looks healthy now, though.

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