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Dunlin, Calidris alpina, Kärrsnäppa

The Dunlin (Calidris alpina) is a small wader, sometimes separated with the other “stints” in Erolia. The English name is a dialect form of “Dunling”, first recorded in 1531–2. It derives from “dun”, “dull brown”, with the -ling suffix meaning “concerned with”.

The genus name is from Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, a term used by Aristotle for some grey-coloured waterside birds. The specific alpina is from Latin and means “of high mountains”, in this case referring to the Alps.

It is a circumpolar breeder in Arctic or subarctic regions. Birds that breed in northern Europe and Asia are long-distance migrants, wintering south to Africa, southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Birds that breed in Alaska and the Canadian Arctic migrate short distances to the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of North America, although those nesting in northern Alaska overwinter in Asia. Many Dunlins winter along the Iberian south coast.

Dunlin, Calidris alpina, Kärrsnäppa

Range map
Range map from www.oiseaux.net - Ornithological Portal Oiseaux.net
www.oiseaux.net is one of those MUST visit pages if you're in to bird watching. You can find just about everything there

Description
An adult Dunlin in breeding plumage shows the distinctive black belly which no other similar-sized wader possesses. The winter Dunlin is basically grey above and white below. Juveniles are brown above with two whitish "V" shapes on the back. They usually have black marks on the flanks or belly and show a strong white wingbar in flight.

The legs and slightly decurved bill are black. There are a number of subspecies differing mainly in the extent of rufous colouration in the breeding plumage and the bill length. Bill length varies between sexes, the females having longer bills than the males.

Dunlin, Calidris alpina, Kärrsnäppa
Dunlin in winter plumage (Non breeding plumage)
Paphos Headland, Lighthouse Beach, Cyprus - February 2018

Dunlin, Calidris alpina, Kärrsnäppa
Dunlin in summer plumage (Breeding plumage)
Hoylake, United Kingdom - August 2018


Subspecies
• Calidris alpina arctica, (Schiøler, 1922), breeds in northeast Greenland.

• Calidris alpina schinzii, (Brehm & Schilling, 1822), breeds in southeast Greenland, Iceland, the British Isles, Scandinavia & the Baltic.

• Calidris alpina alpina, (Linnaeus, 1758), breeds in northern Europe and northwest Siberia.

• Calidris alpina centralis, (Buturlin, 1932), breeds in north-central and northeast Siberia.

• Calidris alpina sakhalina, (Vieillot, 1816), breeds in eastern Russia to the Chukchi Peninsula.

• Calidris alpina kistchinski, Tomkovich, 1986, breeds around the Sea of Okhotsk to Kuril Islands and Kamchatka.

• Calidris alpina actites, Nechaev & Tomkovich, 1988, breeds on Sakhalin.

• Calidris alpina arcticola, (Todd, 1953), breeds from northwest Alaska to northwest Canada.

• Calidris alpina pacifica, (Coues, 1861), breeds in western and southern Alaska.

• Calidris alpina hudsonia, (Todd, 1953), breeds in central Canada.


Dunlin, Calidris alpina, Kärrsnäppa
Eggs, Collection Museum Wiesbaden, Germany
By Klaus Rassinger und Gerhard Cammerer, Museum Wiesbaden - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37115523


Nesting
The nest is a shallow scrape on the ground lined with vegetation, into which typically four eggs are laid and incubated by the male and female parents. Chicks are precocial, however are brooded during early development. They start to fly at approximately three weeks of age. The majority of brood care is provided by the male, as the female deserts the brood and often leaves the breeding area.

The call is a typical sandpiper "peep", and the display song a harsh trill.

The Dunlin is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

Apparent hybrids between this species and the white-rumped sandpiper as well as with the purple sandpiper have been reported from the Atlantic coasts of North America and Europe, respectively.

Behaviour
The Dunlin is highly gregarious in winter, sometimes forming large flocks on coastal mudflats or sandy beaches. Large numbers can often be seen swirling in synchronized flight on stop-overs during migration or on their winter habitat.

This bird is one of the most common waders throughout its breeding and wintering ranges, and it is the species with which other waders tend to be compared. At 17–21 cm length and with a 32–36 cm wingspan, it is similar in size to a Common Starling, but stouter, with a thicker bill.

The Dunlin moves along the coastal mudflat beaches it prefers with a characteristic “sewing machine” feeding action, methodically picking small food items. Insects form the main part of the Dunlin's diet on the nesting grounds; it eats molluscs, worms and crustaceans in coastal areas.

Dunlin, Calidris alpina, Kärrsnäppa
Dunlin feeding
Paphos Headland, Lighthouse Beach, Cyprus - February 2018

Dunlin, Calidris alpina, Kärrsnäppa
Dunlin feeding
Paphos Headland, Lighthouse Beach, Cyprus - February 2018

Dunlin, Calidris alpina, Kärrsnäppa
Dunlin feeding
Paphos Headland, Lighthouse Beach, Cyprus - February 2018

Dunlin, Calidris alpina, Kärrsnäppa
Dunlin feeding
Paphos Headland, Lighthouse Beach, Cyprus - February 2018

Dunlin, Calidris alpina, Kärrsnäppa
Dunlin feeding
Paphos Headland, Lighthouse Beach, Cyprus - February 2018

Dunlin, Calidris alpina, Kärrsnäppa
Dunlin feeding
Paphos Headland, Lighthouse Beach, Cyprus - February 2018


Dunlin are small migratory waders, however they show strong philopatry with individuals of the Southern Dunlin (Calidris alpina schinzii) in Sweden and Finland returning to, or very close to, their natal patches. Habitat fragmentation has reduced the availability of habitat patches to these birds through reducing patch size and increasing patch isolation.

This reduced connectivity between patches has reduced the movements of Dunlin leaving them more susceptible to inbreeding in these locations. Future management for the conservation of Southern Dunlin should include increasing the connectivity between habitat patches.

Listen to the Dunlin

www.xeno-canto.org


Conservation status
Dunlin, Calidris alpina, Kärrsnäppa
Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2.
International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

www.birdforum.net


Sighted: (Date of first photo that I could use) 15 February 2018
Location: Paphos Headland, Lighthouse Beach


Dunlin, Calidris alpina, Kärrsnäppa
Dunlin, Calidris alpina, Kärrsnäppa - 15 February 2018 - Paphos Headland, Lighthouse Beach

Dunlin, Calidris alpina, Kärrsnäppa
Dunlin, Calidris alpina, Kärrsnäppa - 15 February 2018 - Paphos Headland, Lighthouse Beach

Dunlin, Calidris alpina, Kärrsnäppa
Dunlin, Calidris alpina, Kärrsnäppa - 15 February 2018 - Paphos Headland, Lighthouse Beach

Dunlin, Calidris alpina, Kärrsnäppa
Dunlin, Calidris alpina, Kärrsnäppa - 15 February 2018 - Paphos Headland, Lighthouse Beach

Dunlin, Calidris alpina, Kärrsnäppa
Dunlin / Kärrsnäppa - 11 August 2018 2018 - Hoylake, UK



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