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Order Waders, Gulls, Skuas/Charadriiformes, Family Plovers/Charadriidae

Eurasian Dotterel/Charadrius morinellus - Winter

L 20½-24 cm. Breeds high in mountain areas with low cover and scree, often preferring partly flat areas; also on open tundra. Occurs on northerly breeding sites mostly mid Jun-mid Aug. Rare on migration, often singles or in small groups on arable or short-grass fields. Food insects. Nest is bare scrape. male does most of incubation and care of young. Some males are extremely tame just before eggs hatch.
IDENTIFICATION: Somewhat smaller than Golden Plover, and is slightly more compact, with shorter neck and wings and proportionately larger head with smaller bill. In all plumages, has long white or ochrous-buff supercilium and plain upperwing with narrow pale leading edge (white shaft to outermost primary). - Adult summer: Combination of orange-rusty breast, black belly, narrow black and white breast-band and well-marked white supercilium contrasting with dark hindcrown makes it unmistakable; as with phalaropes, female is brighter-coloured, smarter than male. - Adult winter: Greyish breast and flanks tinged buff, with faint whitish breast-band, and upperpart feathers and wing-coverts dark (slaty-) grey with thin rufous-buff fringes. - Juvenile: Like adult winter, but upperparts and larger wing-coverts blackish-brown with neat creamy-buff fringes broken at tip by black central streak; underparts have on average more obvious dark mottling on breast and upper flanks. - 1st-winter: Told by retained juvenile wing-coverts.
VOICE: Flight-call on migration (often on take-off) is a soft, rolling, somewhat descending ‘pjürr’. Contact-call also a simple ‘kwip-kwip’. Song by female is a simple, repeated whistling, ‘pwit pwit pwit …’, c. 2 calls per sec., delivered in flight over territory with shallow, shivering wingbeats.

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