Friday, 9 September 2016


One of the pleasures of walking the sands at Sanna is watching the small waders run in and out of the surf. It's also a challenge trying to photograph them as they don't hang around.

The down-side of taking their picture is that they have to be identified, and this can be a trial to amateurs like me, but.... of the birds in the group was relatively easy to name, the one at centre left with the very distinctive black tummy, which is almost certainly a dunlin.

I sent the picture to the Raptor who, as always, was quick to reply. He writes, "The one with the black belly is definitely an adult dunlin, the others may be juveniles. The white bellied ones could be sanderling which are much more common, but I can't quite tell if they have smaller beaks than the dunlin."

The flock allowed us to approach very close before they took off and landed again almost immediately on a wave-washed rock, at which point they became very difficult to spot, but finally....

....they took off and flew away.


  1. The black-bellied bird is indeed a Dunlin, but the others are Sanderlings, shown by the white belly and breast-band which stops abruptly in a straight line. The are also more likely to have reddish colouration on the upperparts surviving from their summer plumage, and they have more pronounced, whiter, wing-stripes. Their usual hahitat is at the tide edge, and they run around more readily than Dunlin.

  2. Many thanks indeed for the detailed and very helpful identification. Jon