Saturday, 25 August 2012

Presumed White-rumped Sandpiper X Dunlin hybrid, Brownsea Island, 31 July

I found what I thought was a moulting adult White-rumped Sandpiper among Dunlin. It was very distant but the small size, elongated shape, shortish bill and white underparts with mottled breast band were clear to see. A Peregrine flushed the wader flock and I managed a few flight photos, when the camera/lens decided to focus that is. A couple of photos revealed something odd.

Back row, fourth bird from left. Distinctive shape and small size obvious.

Almost middle of back row. Feeding action was more methodical than the W-r Sands I've seen in the past, and was similar to Dunlin. 

Right hand most bird. Terrible photo but size and slender shape still clear. 

Bottom right. I wasn't ready with the camera when they flew past hence the blur. 

Bird is bottom and left of centre. A thin dark line connecting rump to tail is clear to see. A brief look on the internet at photos of Hybrid W-r Sand X Dunlins taken in North America seems to show that unlike this one the majority look much more like Dunlins in size and structure. It was a shame this bird was too distant to study in detail. 

Bird is in right hand group of Dunlin about 12th one in. Strong white wing bar like Dunlin.

The small group of wheeling Dunlin became a bigger group and all I could do was press the shutter. The clean white underparts and shortish bill of the bird in the bottom left group (about 7 0'clock ) might be it. Heavily cropped below.