Wednesday 19 September 2012

The Dunlin Chronicles Part 1 19 September 2012

Another visit to Farmoor this afternoon to have a second look at the juvenile Sanderling but to no avail as it had gone. There were however four juvenile Dunlin by the water near to the new birdwatching Hide. It would be reasonable to assume these were the same four as yesterday but examining the images I took of the four yesterday and comparing them to the images of the ones present today there is a marked difference in the amount and positioning of grey winter plumage feathers on the respective birds. Also one of the Dunlin seen yesterday had aberrant dull yellow legs and feet (normally they are black). All the birds today had black legs and feet. It is so easy to assume that Dunlin seen on consecutive days are one and the same but this shows that sometimes they are not. I wonder how many Dunlin actually do pass through Farmoor on their southward migration? You see it's not always black and white.

I know, get a life you say but these things are important in the early hours of the morning when I cannot get to sleep for worrying about the fact I am worrying!

Juvenile Dunlin seen yesterday. Note the aberrant dull yellow legs and feet. 
All the Dunlin today had normal black legs and feet

Dunlin seen today with well advanced grey winter plumage replacing the juvenile 
feathers. None of the Dunlin yesterday were so advanced into their winter plumage

The above two images of Dunlin seen today show they have a different amount and 
differing position of grey winter feathers on the body to the Dunlin seen yesterday
The Northern Wheatear was still present by the works but this also might be a different bird as it had a marked tuft of displaced feathers on its crown or possibly it was the bird from yesterday but it had a contretemps with one of the twenty or so Pied Wagtails with which it was sharing the wave wall. 

A good size flock of three hundred House Martins with a few Sand Martins amongst them were feeding low over the water on Farmoor One as I left.

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