I've never seen a Dunlin in breeding plumage. And it's beginning to get to me....

From California to the Fenlands, I've seen thousands of these birds, but always on passage and in winter garb.

And they continue to evade me this year. My eBird needs alert pops up for Dunlin every few days in Hudson county, where I live. Usually it's individual birds, and whenever I'm there, they're not. And vice versa. I'm sure some of these elusive Hudson birds are in breeding plumage too....

This oil by Lars Jonsson, to my eye the finest living bird artist, made up for failing to find a Dunlin today. And the singing marsh wrens, orchard orioles, and black skimmers at Liberty State Park added the colour to an entirely waderless day.

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I work in NYC and own a wildlife and wilderness agency specializing in the southern cone of South America. I still do some guiding down there, especially looking for Fuegian and Patagonian avifauna. I'm particularly interested in the wintering ecology of neotropical migrants, and in avian biogeography in general. You can follow me at - @domhall And find me at - AventuraArgentina.com