Dunlin are familiar shorebirds on estuaries in winter and as passage migrants in Spring and Autumn but they nest with us too – up on the hills, in remote peatbogs the song of the Dunlin is heard.
And it’s a pretty good song too. Delivered from the ground as pictured above but often in a Skylark-like song flight. The sound of this song takes me back to the summer of 1986 when I started working for the RSPB and was doing fieldwork in the magical Flow Country of eastern Sutherland and western Caithness. I’ve often taken my mid census break sitting on a hummock of moss and listening to Dunlins singing above the dubhlochan systems of the Flows. Takes me back…
Here is the song of the Dunlin from Alaska:
… from Iceland:
… and from Svalbard, Norway:
But this song to me will always mean the Flow Country between Strath Halladale and Loch More – Greenshank country, Common Scoter country and Dunlin country.