Hello, can anyone out there identify a wader I'm having trouble with?
First I'll try and paste the pictures:
This was last weekend, 15Jun on the coast down from Harwich, Essex. I have more pictures but none which are any better and the single bird might be different from the two birds.
Looking through the viewfinder I was thinking possibly sanderling? but they weren't moving like clockwork toys, or very much at all, just letting the waves wash over their feet. At home I tried to ID them but I found out that sanderling should be in summer plumage up in the Arctic at the moment. The closest resemblance to pictures I can find on the internet is juvenile sanderling but surely these should be up in the Arctic with their parents?
I would say they were slightly smaller than the dunlin which were also present but they might have been further away.
Any help welcome.
My bird photos HERE
Thank you for the replies so far.
Reviewing my pictures I found that the single bird actually had a turnstone in the picture which I'd cropped out so I have to change my size estimate to a bit larger than a dunlin, sorry about that.
I see what you mean about the pair of birds (which I now think are different from the single bird) looking more like transitional plumage than juvenile plumage but again shouldn't that happen more like September? I'm asking because I really don't know, if these are sanderling, they are the first I've seen since I started looking for myself.
I initially discounted little stint because of the greyness of the birds (based on book information, I've never seen little stint) but if they're allowed winter plumage in June perhaps that was too hasty. I'm guessing the single bird is too large though.
I'm intrigued by the black edge to the wing on the pair of birds though. This doesn't seem to appear on pictures of sanderling or little stint that I can find on the web. Is this part of the transition with other feathers covering the dark feathers later? Here's another even less well focussed picture:
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