It’s the wader season

Autumn waders start to appear at local reservoirs and gravel pits from July, although some (e.g. Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper) are as early as mid-June. These are returning adults but from about mid-August the first juveniles start to appear. Here are a couple of waders which were at Hollowell Reservoir this evening. Dunlin and Ringed Plover are common enough but how hard do we look at them? These two individuals are clearly

Juveniles of Dunlin and Ringed Plover, Hollowell Res, 19th August 2011 (Mike Alibone)

juveniles. The Dunlin has many fresh, broad, pale fringes to the upper parts – including a white mantle ‘V’ – and coverts but already there are two plain grey scapulars, with a dark shaft streak, of first winter plumage clearly visible. The Ringed Plover, as well as having a partly broken brown breast band, also has neat pale fringes to the mantle and coverts and I’m guessing it’s a nominate hiaticula race as it’s fairly pale, the supercilium behind the eye is quite broad and the bill appears quite thick, even though it’s collected a lot of mud. Other waders at Hollowell this evening were five move Ringed Plovers, three Green Sandpipers, two Common Sandpipers and four Greenshank. The water level continues to drop and it’s looking good for autumn …

2 thoughts on “It’s the wader season

  1. I’ll go along with C.h. hiaticula for the Ringed Plover – the two more migratory races generally have obvious dark subterminal lines to the upperparts which this bird lacks.

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