2nd Calender Year Curlew Sandpiper

Richard Millington kindly provided several video-captures of a second-calender year Curlew Sandpiper taken at Cley in Norfolk, UK on 26 June 2000. Although later in the season than the problematic Texas bird, the images provide useful comparison with respect to structure. Unfortunately, the images are a little dark and fuzzy having been taken in overcast conditions through a telescope.

Figure 1. The bill held open to different degrees. Copyright of Richard Millington© 2000

Figure 2. The supercilium is fairly wispy and does not extend much beyond the eye. Although it is hard to see in the videograbs, the upperpart feathers are a mixture of generations. Copyright of Richard Millington© 2000

Figure 3. Head-on views showing the weak split supercilium and clearly defined pale throat. Copyright of Richard Millington© 2000

Figure 4. Side profile. Notice how the primary tips extend just beyond the tail. Appears relatively hunched and Dunlin-like. Copyright of Richard Millington© 2000

Richard describes the Cley bird as "typically small-headed, and the body is typically 'egg-shaped' like the HK birds on your site (hunch-backed above the 'shoulders' and chesty, then tapering to a quite attenuated rear-end). The fact that the mystery wader is relatively large-headed and flat-bodied might be an illusion, of course, but the head/eye/bill relative to the body somehow looks peculiarly unlike a CS (in this one photo)".

Figure 5. Notice the more hunched posture as the bird rests. Copyright of Richard Millington© 2000

Given the differences in dates, direct plumage comparisons between this bird and the Texas bird may not be justified. That said, the Cley bird has an obvious 'split' supercilium and, like the April HK bird (but unlike the mystery wader) has very fine streaking on the upper neck-sides only; the throat and foreneck are clearer, and the breast-band consists of smudgy chevron-marks (again like the HK bird).

Page layout copyright of Angus Wilson© 2000. Photos copyright of Richard Millington© 2000. All rights reserved.
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