Counts of Dunlin from all flyways, with web references.


Criteria for counts or estimates at the different sites have to be extracted from the links offered; in spite of normative efforts, Dunlin aren't recorded with the same precision everywhere! Some ornithological traditions still need to adopt the virtue of exact counts. In Greece Dunlin are seldom mentioned, probably ranked lower than magpies and crows, Dunlins weren't Derek Scott's first concern during his sejour in Imperial Iran, and Dunlin tend to blur at Pakistan's horizon. Domestic British counts, offered primarily as maximum number per month (at high tide roosts) or a running mean of highest counts, are most consistent and the whole monitoring scheme best developed in the British Isles, followed or equalled by the surveys in the Dutch, German and Danish parts of the Waddensea. There are no estimates of the constant exchange between the Mediterranean and the East Atlantic Flyways, this exchange unlikely ever to affect e.g. the Irish wintering population, but there must be some influence on the numbers staging in the Waddensea and the Baltic in May, and on the number of transmigrants there in July-August, by all likelihood on the West and Central Mediterranean wintering population in January and the numbers staging in the Black Sea and in Eastern Sivash in April-May as well.

The European loop may not be the only one, there may be a similar exchange between the East Asian and the Central Asian Flyways; centralis and sakhalina flying south on a more easterly course, flying north on a more westerly. These last-minute east-to-west/west-to-east corrections are very evasive; if they do take place, spring counts from mainland China mustn't be added to autumn and winter counts from the Pacific area proper. Thinking along these lines, we must also ask if Dunlin wintering in the Persian Gulf are exclusively connected with some Central Asian Flyway, or if there is interaction with some East Mediterranean Flyway (a more or less established route Black Sea - East Africa has been tentatively suggested). If we insist on using the square concept of "flyway", we might be better off with one flyway including Dunlin from the Bosporus (30° E) to the Sundarbans, while W Mediterranean birds are best assigned to the East Atlantic Flyway. We could end up with one "East Atlantic + West Mediterranean Flyway" and one "East Mediterranean + West Asian Flyway", although that would create some difficulty with the Tunisian birds. Important in all contexts is that we realise that some (sub)-populations cross the trails of other (sub)-populations; when Siberian centralis birds occur in the Baltic they intersect the initial course of Finnish and Karelian schinzii almost at a right angle, and the two populations breed more than 3,000 km apart!

I haven't found web evidence of any lasting, large-scale and consequent wader counting scheme with amateur involvement in the United States (except for the Christmas bird counts), most raw data are accumulated in shorttime "projects", presented as densities (without material for comparison) in reports to authorities, the work in most cases performed by one or a few academic ornithologists. Australia is strongly coming, an engine in the current counts with The Stilt as a journal to keep up to date with, Japan has national schemes with amateurs involved, and there are scattered but recent counts from China, the Koreas and Vietnam. The area involving Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and the Persian Gulf seems to be least known, but even from here there is now some material. Today it probably doesn't speak in favour of waterbird protection in the Arab world (or at least not in Iran) that the first international protection initiative was hosted by the "Imperial Government of Iran" at Ramsar between 30.1 - 3.2.71, i think the Ramsar reference should be substituted, still using it appears as a piece of confrontational British obstinacy. I guess they don't want to abandon an established trademark. [CP]


BirdLife International: Important Bird Areas and potential Ramsar Sites in Europe.
Bretagne Ecologie: Zones d'Importance Communautaire pour les Oiseaux
BTO: Waterbirds in the UK 2005/06
Common Wadden Sea Secretariat: Migratory Waterbirds in the Wadden Sea 1980 – 2000.
CWSS: Intertidal Mudflats Worldwide
CWSS: High Tide Roosts in the Wadden Sea
CWSS/WHNPG: Nomination of the Dutch-German Wadden Sea as World Heritage Site, submitted 30 January 2008. A very fine compilation of Waddensea "assets". Why isn't Denmark part of the project; the nomination was decided at a tri-lateral governmental conference on Schiermonnikoog in November 2005.
(Der Spiegel: Drilling for Oil in a Coastal Paradise)
International Wader Studies: Shorebirds of the Yellow Sea: Importance, threats and conservation status by Mark Barter. IWS Number 12.
IUCN: Marine Protected Area Needs in the South Asian Seas Region. Volume 2: India. A rather old document, from 1993.
IWC Database: Key sites for wintering waders in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
IWMI: Directory of Asian Wetlands (a 20 year old review, but still very informative)
Ministère de l'ecologie: Recherche de sites par espèce: Oiseaux: Bécasseau variable (Calidris alpina) The Montreux Record
Sustainable Development Commission Tidal Power in the UK. Report 5, October 2007.
USSCP 2001: United States Shorebird Conservation Plan 2001. Contains population estimates.
Wetlands International: Numbers and distribution of waterbirds and wetlands in the Asia-Pacific region: Results of the Asian Waterbird Census: 2002–2004. Strong fluctuations in Dunlin counts indicate poor methodology; duck counts seem to be more reliable. Things will improve with time; i don't even think that all existing winter accumulations of Dunlin in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and the rest of SE and E Asia have been located [CP].
Wetlands International: Ramsar Mapper.
Wetlands-Oceania International: Maps of Internationally Important Sites for Migratory Shorebirds in Australia
Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network: WHSRN.
WHSRN: Conservation Plan for the Western Sandpiper. Valuable site references.
Wader Study Group: African-Eurasian migratory wader populations in the mid-1990s: a summary tabulation of population sizes and trends.
WSG: Species Account (small waders), from reference.
World Database on Protected Areas, from UNEP and WCMC.

And as a memento:

WWF: Squandering Paradise?.

Sites or overall areas mentioned in alphabetical order:

Alt Estuary (ENG), Ameland: Duinen-Oerd (NETH), Amvrakikos lagoon (GRE), Amherst Island (CAN), Anse de Saint-Vallier (CAN), Ao Ku (TAIW), Ariake Bay (JPN) Baie d'Ad Dakhla (MOR), Baie de l'Aiguillon (FRA), Baie de Bourgneuf (FRA), Baie de Goulven (FRA), Baie de Khnifiss (MOR), Baie de Mont Saint Michel (FRA), Baie de Morlaix et de Carantec (FRA), Baie de Quiberon (FRA), Baie de Saint-Brieuc (FRA), Baies de Somme et d'Authie (FRA), Baie de Veys (FRA), Baie de Vilaine (FRA), Balgzand (NETH), Banc D'Arguin (MAUR), Barr al Hikman (OMAN), Barrier Islands (USA), Batture-aux-Alouettes (CAN) Bay of Fundy (CAN), Bassin d'Arcachon et Banc d'Arguin (FRA), Belfast Lough (NIRE), Big Piskwanish Point (CAN), Bijagos Archipelago (GBI), Blackrock/Dundalk Bay (IRE), Black Sea Biosphere Reserve (UKR), Blackwater Estuary (ENG), Bo Hai Bay (CHI), Bretagne, overall (FRA), Cádiz Bay (ESP), La Camargue (FRA), Cap Gris-Nez (FRA), Carlingford Lough (NIRE), South Caspian shore (IRAN), estuaries of la Charente and la Gironde (FRA), Chesapeake Bay (USA), Chichester Harbour (ENG), Chilika Lake (IND), Chongming Dao (CHI), Clifton Beach (PAK), Controller Bay (USA/ALA), Copper River delta (USA/ALA), Cukurova delta (TUR), the Dakota Potholes (USA), Delaware Bay Estuary (USA), De Boschplaat (NETH), Dee Estuary, West Kirby (ENG), Dengie Flats (ENG), Djoudj (SEN), Dollard (NETH), Dong Ting Hu (CHI), Dorchester Cape (CAN), Dutch Waddensea area, East Point (CAN), Eastern Sivash (UKR), Ebro delta (SPA), Estuaires du Trieux et du Jaudy (FRA), Faro Lagoon (POR), Fiers d'Ars (FRA), Firth of Forth (SCO), "Fraser delta" (CAN), Frisian Wadden Sea coast (NETH), Ganghwa Do (SKOR), Germany, overall, Gizilagach Bay (AZE), Golfe du Morbihan (FRA), Gorgan Bay (IRAN), Grays Harbour (USA), Griend (NETH), Groningen Wadden Sea coast (NETH), Grunnafjördur (ICE), Guandu Marsh (TAIW), Guerrero Negro (MEX), Hadero Lake (PAK), Hamoun wetlands (AFG), Hannah Bay (CAN), Hawkes Bay (PAK), Hongkong (CHI), Humber Estuary (ENG), l'Ile d'Oléron (FRA), inner Indus delta (PAK), outer Indus delta (PAK), Ireland, overall, Ise Wan (JPN), Japan, overall, Jizan Bay (SAUD), Kahugata Lake (JPN), Kamjan Marshes (IRAN), Kanghwa/Yongjong mudflats (SKOR), Gulf of Khambhat (IND), Kharal Lakes (PAK), Khawr Ghawi (OMAN), Khazar Nature Reserve (TURM), Khipro Lakes (PAK), Khor Dubai (UAE), Khor Jask (IRAN), Khouran Straits (IRAN), Kinjhar Lake (PAK), Kneiss (TUN), Korangi and Gharo Creeks (PAK), overall Kutch area (IND), Ladner (CAN), Laguna Madre (MEX), Lake Bardawil (EGY), Lake Fertö (HUN), Lake Manzala (EGY), Langstone Harbour (ENG), Lindisfarne (ENG), Longridge Point (CAN), Lough Foyle (NIRE), Manko tidal flat (JPN), Marais de Brouage (FRA), Marais d'Yves (FRA), Marais de Pointe-au-Père (CAN), Medway Estuary (ENG), Mersey Estuary (ENG), Messolonghi Lagoon (GRE), Miani Hor (PAK), Mondego estuary (POR), Moray, Cromarty Firth (SCO), Morecambe Bay (ENG), Mundok MBWR (NKOR), Nakdong estuary (SKOR), Netishi Point (CAN), North Bull Island (IRE), Oosterschelde (NETH), Ortigueira (ESP), Orwell/Stour Estuaries (ENG), Osaka Nanko Bird Sanctuary (JPN), Pasni Bay (PAK), Persian Gulf (IRAN), Po delta (ITA), Poole Harbour (ENG), Port Simpson area (CAN), Presqu'il Provincial Park (CAN), Ria de Arosa (ESP), Ria de Aveiro (POR), Rio Formosa (POR), Ribble Estuary (ENG), Rottumeroog (NETH), Rottumerplaat (NETH), Sabkhat al-Fasl Lagoons (SAUD), Sado Estuary (POR), Saemangeum (SKOR), Saint-Vallier (CAN), Schiermonnikoog (NETH), Scotland, overall, Seal Creek-Ahrnklin River estuary (USA), Severn Estuary (ENG), estuary of Sèvre and Loire (FRA), Shadegan Marshes (IRAN), Shannon & Fergus Estuary (IRE), Shiokawa tidal flat (JPN) Shuangtaizihekou NNR (CHI), Skardsfjördur (ICE), Skarjafjördur (ICE), Solway Estuary (ENG/SCO), Sone-Higata (JPN), Song Do (SKOR), South San Francisco Bay (USA), Strangford Lough (NIRE), Swale Estuary (ENG), Tarut Bay (SAUD), Tatu Estuary (TAIW), Tejo Estuary (POR), Terschelling (NETH), Thames Estuary (ENG), inner Tokyo Bay (JPN), Tomales Bay (USA), Tubli Bay (BAH), Tungshih Mangroves (TAIW), Lake Uromiyeh (IRAN), Venice lagoon (ITA), overall Waddensea (DEN/GER/NETH), The Wash (ENG), Wirral, Dee Estuary (ENG), Xhuan Thuy (VIET), Yalu Jiang NNR (CHI), Yangtze River (CHI), Yatsu Higata (JPN), Yedaranayam Salt Swamp (IND), Yongjong Island (SKOR), Yoshinu estuary (JPN), Zaranik (EGY), Zuibaiji estuary (JPN)


EAST ASIAN - AUSTRALASIAN FLYWAY: (Calidris alpina actites, arcticola, kistchinski, sakhalina)

Waterbird Population Estimates, 4th ed. 2007) (one has to log in to get it, and references aren't included) estimates the populations of sakhalina and kistchinski at 100,000 - 1,000,000 inds., 10,000 has been used for the 1 % estimate. (Either the lower estimates give the correct order of magnitude - or one million Dunlin are not accounted for in international counts. Xuqiang & Barter reflect along the same lines on the Wetlands International-China homepage: "Breeding ground surveys have shown that there are at least 1 million Dunlin in the East Asian - Australasian Flyway, perhaps as many as 3 million. However, so far we have found only 200,000 in the non-breeding areas, mainly in the coastal regions of Japan, South Korea and southern China. Where are the missing birds?" ). The actites population is said to comprise 600 breeding birds, 900 individuals. The arcticola population is estimated at 750,000 individuals - i think that estimate is much too high. A North American Shorebird Assessment and Monitoring Program estimates the arcticola population much lower: at 50,000 - 100,000 (based on Warnock & Gill 1996, The Birds of North America, and Bob Gill, pers. comm.) Question-marks behind the current estimates of sakhalina, kistchinski and arcticola population sizes, they could all be on the high side! I suggest tentatively that 300,000 Dunlin use this flyway. [CP] Furthermore: Identification of potentially important staging areas for ‘long jump’ migrant waders in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway during northward migration. Wilson, J. R. & M. A. Barter (1998), The Stilt 32: 16 - 28.

CHINA, overall. The Yellow Sea has more intertidal flats than any other comparable marine area, some 2 million shorebirds use it as a staging area in spring. "Approximately 37 per cent of the intertidal areas that existed in the Chinese portion of the Yellow Sea in 1950 have since been reclaimed(...), and China plans to reclaim a further 45 per cent of the mudflats. Source: Shorebird Conservation in Australia. Important wintering concentrations occur in provinces Tianjin, Shanghai, Zhejiang and Fujian, Liaoning has large staging flocks in spring.

CHINA, Tianjin, Bo Hai Bay (38° to c39° 10' N, west of c118° E), intertidal flats; a large bay, housing the estuaries of Yellow River and Hai He River, in later years notorious for "red tides". Some of China's largest oil-fields are under development. Yang & Zhang (2006) report in Stilt 49: 3 - 6: "Our survey not only proved Bohai Bay to be an important stopover site for Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata, Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola, and Dunlin Calidris alpina but also showed for the first time that the study area is important for these species during the winter." 2,466 at Jingqu, Dagang 18 - 19.2.06, 4,200 at Tanggu 7.10.06 (China Bird Report). UNEP.ORG: Assessment of Bohai Sea. The new "ecological city" of Tangshan - China is eagerly greenwashing where early industrialisation has created wasteland - is built on landfills in the bay.

CHINA, Shanghai Region, Chongming Dao (31° 25' to 38' N, 121° 50' to 122° 05' E): March 1996 8,757, April 1996 6,658, 24 - 29 April 2001 6,418, 15 - 18 Oct 2001 311. (Reference 1, Reference 2)

CHINA, Hunan/Hubei, Dong Ting Hu, a shallow inundation area (lake) of Yangtze River between the Hunan and Hubei provinces, the second largest fresh water lake in China: "16,117" counted in winter 2003, one of three SE Asian sites exceeding 10,000 during counts 2002 - 2004 according to Wetlands International. A declaration of intent: Lake back to health in 5 to 10 years.

CHINA, Hongkong, Inner Deep Bay and Shenzhen River catchment area, Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve (22° 28' N to 22° 32' N - 113° 59' E to 114° 04' E): high tide counts 1999/2000, winter peak 2,980. (BirdLife International, Reference 2). This is a well-known resting area for Spoon-billed Sandpipers, Eurynorhynchus pygmeus, on their way from the Bering Straits to wintering-grounds in SE Asia.

CHINA, Yangtze River, a news item from Birds Korea: "Dunlin are one of the commonest shorebirds using the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. In order to know the population status of non-breeding Dunlin at the lower reaches of Yangtze River, Mark Barter of Wetland International and LEI Gang of East Dongtinghu Nature Reserve looked for Dunlin in Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi and Anhui Province in Jan. 2003. 47739 Dunlin were recorded at 46 sites. Nearly half of the total numbers were recorded in Hunan Province. The largest flock (6490 birds) was recorded at Caizi Lake in Anhui Province. Mark Barter and LEI Gang considered that the number of non-breeding Dunlin using the lower reaches of the Yangtze River could be higher than 200,000, suggesting that this is an important area for Dunlin conservation."

CHINA, Liaoning provice, Shuangtaizihekou National Nature Reserve (c 40° 58' N, 121° 45' E); the reserve comprising some 80,000 hectares, 20,000 of which are intertidal flats. A maximum of 16,411 Dunlin counted in mid-May 1998 and late April 1999; (Reference). Estimate 10,000 at the same site 13 - 14.5.06 (China Bird Report).

CHINA, Liaoning provice, Yalu Jiang National Nature Reserve (c 40° N, 120° E); Yalu Jiang is the border river between China and North Korea, the reserve comprises 108,057 hectares, 30,000 of which are intertidal flats. A maximum of 25,181 Dunlin counted in early May 1999 and mid-May 2000; (Reference).

JAPAN, overall: 28,955 Dunlin counted in nation-wide counts in the winter period of 2002, 37,922 in 2003, 26,254 in 2004. These numbers indicate a wintering population order of magnitude 25,000 - 50,000, barely exceeding the maximum count at one of the best British estuaries. There has been a vast destruction of habitat in Japan; more than 90 % of Tokyo Bay has been reclaimed. The Japanese Wetlands Inventory remarks in 1987: "The total area of mudflats in Japan, including beaches, estuaries and lagoons, is now only 53,856 ha compared with 82,621 ha in 1945. The great majority of the mudflats are on the Pacific coast; the coast of the Sea of Japan has very few tidal mudflats because of the low tidal range." It's probably correct to assume that Japan gradually has evicted a lot of Charadriidae "naturally" occuring as winter guests during the 20th century. Reference: Wetlands International. Also see The Ariake Sea disaster, from Japan Wetlands Action Network. 500 important wetlands in Japan, with maps, pictures and some information on visiting species. Many important (but dwindling) intertidal flats seem to be connected with estuaries falling into Setondai, an arm of the ocean separating island Shikoku to the SE from the mainland, also see Sone-Higata (JPN) below.

JAPAN, Kyushu, Fukuoka, inner Ariake Bay (c33° 08' N, 130° 15' E), the largest area of intertidal flats in Japan, 30,800 ha, and estuaries of half a dozen rivers, ongoing reclamations everywhere. An important wintering area for Dunlin, with several % of the flyway population, Japanese Wetlands Inventory gives max. count 4,020 Dunlin from a high-tide roost at Kokuzo "at the height of the migration season". Reference 1.

JAPAN, Aichi, inner Ise Bay (Ise Wan; Fujimae Higata at c35° 04' N, 135° 30' E plus half a dozen river estuaries), surrounded by cities Tobo, Yokkaichi and Nagoya. This is an important Dunlin area, with a lot of ongoing reclamation (Reference), the important foraging areas are located to the NW of the bay: the Shonai-Fujimae tidal flats. "The concentrations of shorebirds are amongst the highest found in Japan, and in late April in recent years, the site has held 10-15% of the Pluvialis squatarola, Limosa lapponica, Calidris ruficollis and C. alpina recorded in Japan at that time" (Japanese Wetlands Inventory). BirdLife International. 323 hectares of intertidal flats were declared a Ramsar Site (and by that hopefully exempted from exploitation) by the City Council in 2002.

JAPAN, Ishikawa, Kanazawa, Kahokugata Lake (c36° 39' N, 136° 40' E), mudflats, marshes, includes reclaimed areas. "Many C. alpina overwinter". Japanese Wetlands Inventory

JAPAN, Ryukyu, Okinawa Manko tidal flat (c36° 39' N, 136° 40' E), 40 hectares of tidal mudflats, Ramsar site. Mid-winter count in 1986: 810 (Japanese Wetlands Inventory), site reference.

JAPAN, Osaka, Osaka Nanko Bird Sanctuary, (Osaka coordinates: c26° 13' N, 127° 41' E). This is an important resting area for Dunlin, said to harbour <0,25 % of the flyway population, i haven't been able to find counts. Reference.

JAPAN, Aishi, Shiokawa tidal flat, part of the larger Mikawa-wan (c34° 41' N, 137° 18' E), the city Toyohashi lies at one end, it's easy to traverse Japan from east to west after entering this bay. Fer-Jan de Vries counted 4,613 Dunlin here on 13.4.1997. (Reference), and a study by IWRB Japan states: "the shorebirds present at any one time can include between 2,000 and 9,000 Calidris alpina." Mikawa-wan is an important resting area for Dunlin, said to harbour <1 % of the flyway population Reference. No counts from BirdLife International. A homepage collecting links for Shiokawa Tidal Flat.

JAPAN, Kyushu, Fukuoka, Sone-higata (higata is intertidal flat, ebb beach), a threatened site with ongoing reclamation; an airport is being built on the tidal flat. (Fukuoka coordinates: c33° 35' N, 130° 24' E). Another important resting area for Dunlin, said to harbour <0,25 % of the flyway population, i haven't been able to find counts. Reference 1.

JAPAN, Tokyo, Inner Tokyo Bay (35° 20' - 35° 42'N, 139° 38' -l40° 08' E), "c.l,850 ha of mudflats and marshes in a total bay area of c.85,000 ha.(...) A large number of Calidris alpina overwinter in the Bay, and approximately 6,000 have been counted at the Obitsu Estuary." Reference: Japanese Wetlands Inventory, data up till 1987, also see 500 important wetlands in Japan.

JAPAN, Chiba, city of Narashino, Yatsu Higata (c35° 41' N, 140° 00' E), a tidal flat (40 hectares) at the northern end of Tokyo Bay, stated to harbour during the course of the season 10 % of the waterbirds migrating through Japan. A Ramsar site since 1993. Maximum number counted 1988 - 1996: 4,000. Reference 1, Reference 2. In WSGB 111, December 2006, Hitoha Amano remarks: "In Japan, 40% of the former area of tidal flats has been lost in the past 50 years.(...)In the last five years, the number of individuals of dominant species has not shown any increasing or decreasing trend, but the maximum number of Dunlin shows a decreasing trend (contrary to the lack of any trend in one-day census data)."

JAPAN, Shikoku, Tokushima, Yoshino estuary (c34° 05' N, 134° 36' E), intertidal mudflats. Spring counts in 1985: 640 (Japanese Wetlands Inventory), also see 500 important wetlands in Japan.

JAPAN, Kyushu, Fukuoka, Zuibaiji estuary (c33° 36' N, 130° 15' E), intertidal mudflats. Spring counts in 1985: 429 (Japanese Wetlands Inventory), also see 500 important wetlands in Japan.

NORTH KOREA, Pyongan, Mundok Migratory Bird Wetland Reserve (c39° 24' N, 125° 06' E); 6000 hectares, including intertidal flats. No counts, but it is stated: "The region can be expected to support large numbers of shorebirds during both northward and southward migration." (Reference).

PHILIPPINES, Luzon, Cagayan river delta (18° 16' N, 121°, 40' E): "A group of 17 (Dunlin) was observed on a large sandbar in Cagayan river delta on 3 November 2001. (...)This is the second record for the Philippines following one at Aparri in 1988 (Erritzoe 1994). In January 2002, two Dunlin were observed in the same area." Reference. Dunlin obviously come to a halt somewhere around 20° N in Asia, the same as in Africa.

SOUTH KOREA, Kyonggi Province, Ganghwa Do (37° 35' N, 126° 25' E; Korea's "most historic" island, with five sacred mountains) and Yeong Jong Do (37° 31' N, 126° 32' E): former site, northward migration 17,000, latter site, northward migration 13,208, southward migration 12,110. (Reference). Wetlands International offers a number of the same magnitude, 15,613, for the whole of South Korea in the winter of 2003. Mostly the same sites separated and more in detail below.

SOUTH KOREA, Kyonggi, south Kanghwa and north Yongjong mudflats (37° 31' - 37° 37' N, 126° 18' - 126° 35' E), two islands with mudflats between them, tidal range between 5 and 9 m. "These mudflats are two of the few remaining patches of the formerly very extensive mudflats to the south of the Han Estuary; most other areas have been reclaimed for agricultural and industrial development.(...)The tidal mudflats of south Hanghwa and north Yongjong are a very important staging area for migratory shorebirds, especially Numenius madagascariensis and Calidris alpina." Roost count in April and May 1988: 14,200 Dunlin. Korean Wetland Inventory.

SOUTH KOREA, Kyongsang, Nakdong estuary (35° 03' - 35° 13' N, 128° 48' - l29° 00' E;), delta, tidal channels, intertidal flats. There is a "Nakdong barrage" and a sad story of exploitation in this area. Winter censuses between 1975 and 1984 produced peak counts 2,700 Dunlin. "Doornbos (1983) recorded 10,600 shorebirds in October 1983, and Piersma (1985b) recorded 19,000 in mid September 1984. Thirty-seven species of shorebirds have been observed, including: 9,100 Dunlin. Korean Wetland Inventory.

SOUTH KOREA, Chollabuk Province, Saemangeum: Mangyeung Gang Hagu (c35° 50' N, 126° 45' E) and Dongjin Gang Hagu (35° 47' N, 126° 45' E): "counts" at former site, northward migration 47,650, southward migration 22,000, latter site, northward migration 38,850, southward migration 20,004. (Reference). This was South Korea's most important resting area for waterbirds, larger than the Wash; 19,020 Dunlin were still counted throughout the Dongjin estuary on 15.4.06, 15,625 Dunlin in the Mangyeung estuary on 16.4.06 (Nial Moores on behalf of BirdsKorea), but a 33 km long dyke closed off the estuaries from the ocean in April 2006. Here a link showing the site at closure. (The Zuiderzee in the Netherlands was closed in the same way, and some of the machinery used is Dutch-made). Satellite images of Saemangeum at different stages of the construction, from Earth Observatory. Also read South Korea's Special development Laws on Saemangeum and The Coastal Zone by Rakhyun Kim.

SOUTH KOREA, Seoul, Incheon, Song Do tidal flats (Incheon: 37° 29' N, 126°, 38' E) Dunlins are said to number "thousands", in a trip report Wilton Farrelly lists 5000+ from 5.5.2002. The largest international airport of S. Korea (reclaimed areas on Yeongjong Island) is a neighbour to the flats, and the whole area is earmarked for destruction, see Nial/Charlie Moore's description on Birds Korea.

SOUTH KOREA, Kyonggi, Yongjong Island and adjacent islands (37° 23' - 37° 29' N, 126° 23' - l26° 35' E), intertidal flats. "The mudflats are a very important staging area for migratory shorebirds, particularly Calidris alpina." Roost estimate in Apriland May 1988: 20,000 Dunlin. Korean Wetland Inventory.

TAIWAN, Chiayi, Ao-Ku, a settlement on the west coast of Taiwan (23° 30' N, 120° 10' E): "10,000" in winter 2003, one of three SE Asian sites exceeding 10,000 during counts 2002 - 2004 according to Wetlands International. There is a shelf on the west side of Taiwan, at least from Anping (23° 00' N) and northwards; most wintering sandpipers probably visit tidal mudflats all along this shelf, and high tide resting sites along the shoreline. (Cf. Tatu Estuary and Tungshi Mangroves below). According to Wetlands International (above) 16,788 Dunlin were recorded in Taiwan during winter counts in 2002, and 14,271 in 2003, this indicating that the Ao Ku area has a central position with favourable feeding grounds or high-tide roosts (or both). Further north there is ornithological activity at Hanbou, with Dunlin ringed and sightings of flagged birds.

TAIWAN, Taipeh, Guandu Marsh (25° 07'N, 121° 27' E), mangrove, brackish marshes, intertidal mudflats, "in the estuary of the Tanshui River at its confluence with the Keeling River". Tidal amplitude 2 m. The Dunlin is "mainly a winter visitor", 940 counted in mid-January 1988. Taiwan Wetlands Inventory. A well-ordered "nature park", Reference 2.

TAIWAN, NW Changhua, Tatu Estuary (24° 11'N, 120° 29' E): "Some 2,000-4,000 Calidris alpina winter in the area.(...) 1,500 counted in a mid-January census in 1988." Taiwan Wetlands Inventory.

TAIWAN, Chiayih, Tungshih Mangroves (23° 27'N, 120° 09' E) mangroves with intertidal flats. Dunlin not mentioned, but they should be here, too. Taiwan Wetlands Inventory.

VIETNAM, Red River delta, Xhuan Thuy (20° 13' N, 106° 33' E): Feb 1995 1,500. (Reference). There aren't many Dunlin records from Vietnam in the Wetlands International counts from 2002 - 2004 either.

CENTRAL ASIAN FLYWAY (Calidris alpina alpina, centralis, sakhalina?)

Waterbird Population Estimates, 4th ed. 2007; estimates the centralis population at 500,000 (254,000 on passage in Shivash Gulf, Ukraine + 226,000 in winter in Middle East) + 100,000 wintering in South Asia, with Indian wintering population estimated at 60,000 birds. The overall calculation is misleading, all birds on passage in Ukraine aren't centralis, a lot of them must belong to eastern fractions of subspecies alpina.

Aral Sea, Aral Sea Graphics from UNEP. The Aral Sea is shared between Kasachstan and Usbekistan, much water from its tributaries Amu-Darja and Syr-Darja is used for irrigation. By 2007 the area of the sea had been reduced to 1/10 of the extent by 1960. The northern part experienced a slight recovery after a dam, Dike Kokaral, was introduced between the North (on Kasach territory) and South (partly on Usbek territory) Aral Seas in August 2005. April 7, 2008. Dust storm over the Aral Sea

AFGHANISTAN/IRAN, Sistan Basin, the Hamoun Wetlands: Hamoun-i-Sabari and Hamoun-i-Puzak (north and east of 31° N, 61° E), wasted by recent drought, conditions worsened by mismanagement during the Taliban goverment. The lakes practically disappeared, rain had re-filled one quarter of the lake on the Iranian side by 2005. Here has always been an important resting area for waterbirds flying north from the Indian Ocean to W Siberia. Link from NASA: From Wetland to Wasteland". The Iranian part is described in great detail in Iranian Wetland Inventory; Scott lists

AZERBAIJAN, Lenkoran, Gizilagach Bay (39° 05' N, 49° 03' E), an open bay connected with the Caspian Sea, and a freshwater reservoir: counts in 1998, min. 4,060, max. 7,653. Populations visiting this area continue south by the Persian Gulf. The pollution of the Caspian Sea (partly by means of Russian outlets) is enormous, and there has been a long vacuum of cooperation and law enforcement. Water levels vary, rising 3 m between 1977 and 1995, much in tune with the North Atlantic oscillation. The Volga river provides more than 80% of the total inflow. The salinity is approximately 1.3 % at the Azeri latitude, in winter water temperatures never drop below +13° here.

BAHREIN, northern part, Tubli Bay (c26° 10' N, 50° 36' E). counts from 1988: min. 616, max. 1,586. BirdLife International. Illegal reclamation has prompted the authorities to proclaim an "official coastline". Conservation in Bahrain.

BANGLADESH/INDIA, there seem to be no Dunlin wintering in the Sundarbans: Zöckler et al. 2005. Bangladesh Wetland Inventory mentions Little Stint and Curlew Sandpiper as the most common Calidris, the same applies to Chilika Lake in India. The CMS/CAF report Country Report for Central Asian Flyway Overview lists the Dunlin as "rare visitor" to Bangladesh.

CASPIAN SEA, Vital Caspian Graphics from UNEP.

INDIA, Orissa, Chilika Lake (c19° 42' N, 85° 21' E): 20,092 counted in winter 2003, one of three SE Asian sites exceeding 10,000 during counts 2002 - 2004 according to Wetlands International. A mere 250 - 500 were counted at the same site in January 2001, 2002 and 2003, Nayak 2006. Annotated Ramsar List of India, and Habitat evaluation of Chilika Lake with special reference to birds as bio-indicators gives 1,700 in the winter 2002-2003 (the biogeographical population is estimated at 100,000 here). This site was taken off the Montreux record in 2002, probably because of gross mismanagement. Over years a few Dunlin have been ringed here.

INDIA Gujarat, Gulf of Khambhat (20° 35' - 22° 20' N, 72° 05 ' - 72° 55 ' E) a vast area with many estuaries and mudflats. "The most abundant shorebirds are Recurvirostra avosetta, Charadrius mongolus, C. leschenaulti, species of Tringa and Calidris, and Limicola falcinellus." Indian Wetland Inventory.

INDIA Gujarat, Rann of Kutch, Little Rann of Kutch, Gulf of Kutch, an enormous area in northern Gujarat, including saline desert, inundating during the monsoons, water "tanks", mangrove, intertidal flats. Dunlins are notoriously neglected in this area, although they are present in numbers. A Danish travel report from 2006 lists 500 from Maliya Miyana (23° 05' N, 70° 45' E) (LRoK) 28 January and 100 from Dasada (LRoK) 29 January. Indian Wetland Inventory.

INDIA Tamil Nadu, Point Calimere, Yedaranayam Salt Swamp (10° l7' - 10° 22' N, 79° 25' - 79° 52' E), "the swamp itself is a vast area of open mudflats and lagoons lying behind a long sand bar breached at various places by tidal channels." 650 Dunlin were counted in a census in January 1987. Indian Wetland Inventory.

IRAN, overall. The Iranian Wetland Inventory estimates the Iranian wintering population of Dunlin at 50,000 - 90,000 in the 1970's. Most lakes of importance to waterbirds seem to hold some 100 - 1,000 wintering Dunlin, a few lakes order of magnitude 5,000 in late autumn. Some of these lakes freeze in winter, but not the Kamjan Marshes. The quoted inventory has a "waterfowl" bias (Derek A. Scott, working six years for the Dept of Environment in Iran, hence all the 1970 counts) and is not as informative as could be wished when it comes to "shorebirds".

IRAN, South Caspian shore (between 49 and 54° N: 48° 52' to 53° 57' E), 650 km of shoreline. Oscillation of the sea level in recent years <2 m. Count in the 1970's 300 wintering Dunlin. Reference: Iranian Wetland Inventory.

IRAN, Mazandaran, Gorgan Bay (36° 50'N, 53°45'E;), brackish bay at the SE corner of the Caspian. The wetlands protected within the Miankaleh Wildlife Refuge; Ramsar site. Count in the 1970's 5,000 wintering Dunlin. Reference: Iranian Wetland Inventory.

IRAN, Fars, E Zagros Mountains, Kamjan Marshes (29° 40' N, 53° 05' E), a complex area with two saline lakes, Lake Bakhtegan and Lake Tashk, parts of Lower Kur river. Peak count in November 6,000 Dunlin, birds that could continue to Oman if necessary. Reference: Iranian Wetland Inventory.

IRAN, Baluchistan, Khor Jask (25° 40' N, 57° 40' E), tidal creek, mangrove, intertidal flats. 300 Dunlin counted in winter. Reference: Iranian Wetland Inventory.

IRAN, Bandar Abbas, Khouran Straits (26° 50' N, 55° 40' E), mangrove, intertidal flats, tidal creeks in the straits between the mainland and the island of Gheshm; A Ramsar site. Count in the 1970's 750 wintering Dunlin. Reference: Iranian Wetland Inventory.

IRAN, Khuzestan, Shadegan Marshes, Khor-al Amaya and Khor Musa (30° 00' to 20'N, 48° 20' to 49° 00' E), Des and Karun river estuaries and adjacent mudflats at the northern end of the Persian Gulf, oil-town Abadan lying close, Shatt al Arab neighbour to the west. The tidal flats are 10 km wide in places. Reference: Iranian Wetland Inventory.

IRAN, Azarbayjan, Lake Uromiyeh (c37° 30'N, 45° 30'E), a large, shallow hypersaline lake; Ramsar site and national park. Peak count in the 1970's 525 wintering Dunlin. "An aerial survey on 29-31 August 1973 gave an estimated amount of 146,000 unidentified small shorebirds (probably mostly Calidris minuta and C. ferruginea) on the mudflats around the lake." Reference: Iranian Wetland Inventory.

IRAN, eastern side of the Persian Gulf: "Only a small part of the wetlands along the Iranian Gulf coast were counted and a total of over 240,000 waders were estimated to winter in the surveyed wetlands. Our survey suggests that the total Iranian Gulf coast is very important for waterbirds and in particular for waders and Dalmatian Pelican." Reference: Van der Have et al 2000.

OMAN, Barr al Hikman (c20° 38' N, 58° 26' E), tidal inlet; the overall area holds 12,000 hectares of intertidal flats). Counts by West Asian Shorebird Survey 1989/90 30,432, 93 % of mean total Oman counts (reference). BirdLife International quotes counts from 1989 (most likely stationary, wintering birds): min. 22,003, max. 60,000.

OMAN, Al Wusta, Khawr Ghawi (c18° 34' N, 56° 38' E), a 6 km long tidal inlet: estimate of "non-breeding" in 1993, min. 4,000. BirdLife International.

PAKISTAN Freshwater, brackish water and coastal wetlands of Sindh, a "Status paper" from IUCN; Pakistan Wetlands, map of all important wetlands.

PAKISTAN, Sind, S of Karachi City, Clifton Beach (24° 47' N, 67° 05' E), c.8 km of beach with intertidal flats. Strongly urbanised area, the sand beach is expanded with extra sand deposits. Estimate in mid-January 1987: 4,000 Dunlin and in January 1988 5,600 Dunlin were counted. Pakistan Wetlands Inventory.

PAKISTAN, Sind, Hadero Lake (24° 49' N, 67° 52' E), a natural brackish lake, wildlife sanctuary comprising 1,321 ha, but Pakistan's lakes are shrinking, bird numbers are shrinking, and so is Hadero Lake. Maximum count in January 1988: 200 Dunlin. Reference, Sindh Wildlife Department

PAKISTAN, Sind, SW of Karachi City, Hawkes Bay (24° 47' to 24° 52' N, 66° 50' to 66° 59' E), c.2000 hectares of tidal creeks. Estimate in mid-January 1975: 20,000 Dunlin + 10,000 unidentified small shorebirds. The site is deteriorating due to exploitation. Pakistan Wetlands Inventory, Sea Turtle Conservation and Education in Karachi, Pakistan

PAKISTAN, Sind, Badin and Kadhan Lagoons (24° 15' to 24° 30' N, 68° 35' to 69° 05' E), brackish lagoons and mudflats at the end of drainage canals in the E part of the Indus delta, water levels strongly fluctuating. 780 Dunlin counted near the Salt Chanki area in January 1975, 3,700 in the Kur area (Kur Lagoon 24° 20' N, 68° 40' E) in January 1985, the overall area 4,000 Dunlin in January 1988. Pakistan Wetlands Inventory.

PAKISTAN, Sind, outer Indus delta (24° 15' to 24° 30' N, 68° 35' to 69° 05' E),300,000 hectares of mangrove, lagoons, canals and mudflats. "The intertidal mudflats support major concentrations of wintering shorebirds", Calidris alpina explicitly mentioned. Pakistan Wetlands Inventory.

PAKISTAN, Punjab, Kharal Lakes (30° 53' N, 73° 53' E), brackish to saline lake with marshes. "Peak counts" in the 1970's 230 Dunlin. Pakistan Wetlands Inventory.

PAKISTAN, Sind, Khipro Lakes (25° 32' to 25° 49' N, 69° 29' to 69° 38' E), 30 small lakes in a region comprising 30,000 hectares. 1,500 Dunlin were counted in mid-January 1988. Pakistan Wetlands Inventory.

PAKISTAN, Sind, Kinjhar Lake (24° 56' N, 68° 03' E), Pakistan's largest freshwater lake. Maximum count in January 1988: 290 Dunlin. Pakistan Wetlands Inventory.

PAKISTAN, Sind, SE of Karachi City, Korangi and Gharo Creeks (24° 47' N, 67° 11' E), tidal creeks with intertidal flats, once developed from the Indus delta. Counts in January 1988 260 Dunlin. Pakistan Wetlands Inventory.

PAKISTAN, Balochistan, Miani Hor (25° 24' to 25° 38' N, 66° 06' to 66° 35' E), mangrove, intertidal mudflats at the Arabian Gulf, a Ramsar site since 2001. Maximum count in January 1975: 800 Dunlin. Pakistan Wetlands Inventory.

PAKISTAN, Balochistan, Pasni Bay (25° 15' N, 63° 30' E), "intertidal mudflats of Pasni Bay from Ras Jaddi headland north and east for about 13 km". "Waterfowl observed during a brief survey in January 1987...large numbers of shorebirds...including Calidris alpina. Thought to be an important staging and wintering area for pelicans and shorebirds." Pakistan Wetlands Inventory.

SAUDI ARABIA, Ash Shargiyah, Jizan Bay (16° 53' N, 42° 32' E), intertidal flats from Jizan port and northwards: counts of "non-breeding" in 1990, min. 1,160, max. 3,160. BirdLife International.

SAUDI ARABIA, Ash Shargiyah, Sabkhat al-Fasl Lagoons (26° 40' N, 49° 40' E), 500 hectares of industrial sedimentation ponds adjacent to Jubail industrial city: counts of "non-breeding" in 1991, min. 3,574, max. 5,900, counts of "passage" in 1993, min. 11,350. BirdLife International.

SAUDI ARABIA, Ash Shargiyah, Tarut Bay (27° 0' N, 50° 10' E): counts in 1991, min. 6,527, max. 7,800. The major natural wintering site of Saudi Arabia: BirdLife International.

TURKMENISTAN, SE Caspian Coast, Khazar (formerly Krasnovodskiy) Nature Reserve, (c40° N, 53° E): The Khazar Nature Reserve was established in 1932 and encompasses 262,037 hectares from Turkmenbashi Bay in the north to the Iranian border on the south. (The area is probably less than 200,000 ha today). Counts in the winter of 1995-96: 130,000 "wintering" Dunlin. On the hunting pressure: While these numbers are highly approximate, KhR specialists estimate that poaching takes at least 85,000 birds/year, worth approximately US$250,000. Informal interviews with hunters conducted during the preparatory consultations suggest a figure possibly closer to 400,000 birds/year being harvested along the coast. Reference.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Khor Dubai (c25° 12' N, 55° 20' E), a tidal creek extending 7 km inland: counts in 1990, min. 2,027, max. 4,701. Reference: BirdLife International. The growth of Dubai city is encroaching upon the reserve.

MEDITERRANEAN FLYWAY: (Calidris alpina alpina, centralis, possibly schinzii)

This diffuse "Flyway" interacts with the Central Asian and East Atlantic ones, and population estimates on the different flyways should be taken with a grain of salt as long as we have no quantitative estimates of E to W / W to E movements within the Mediterranean.

BLACK SEA, Black Sea Graphics from UNEP.

EGYPT, general. Egypt has five large lakes along the Mediterranean coast; Lake Maryut (a dump and sewage recipient for Alexandria, the most polluted of the lakes), Lake Idku (serving as a recipient for a million cubic meters of irrigation water and industrial outlets), Lake Burullus, Lake Manzilah (the Suez Canal passes through the E part) and Lake Bardawil. About these lakes: "Killing waters", Al Ahram Weekly Online, 6 - 12 September 2001. In addition there is Lake Qarun, SW of Cairo, the recently created High Dam Lake (Lake Nasser; area some 5,250 km2) extending south to the Sudanese border, Lake Timsah (Bahra el-Tumsah) and the Great Bitter Lake (Buheirat-Marrat-el-Kubra; originally hypersaline, but now aligned with Red Sea salinity), the two latter parts of the Suez canal, and the Toshka Lakes in the desert WSW of Aswan, created by the spilling over of water from the Aswan Dam in 1998 and onwards. Most lakes are polluted by sewage and industrial outlets, salinity increases with evaporation, there is little infrastructure and the enforcement of hunting legislation is non-existent. Lake Manzilah, with an average depth of 1.3 m, had its surface reduced by reclamation projects from originally 1,698 sq. km. to c750 sq. km. in 1998. The almost total cessation of sediment transport with the Nile water after the completion of the Aswan Dam has led to erosion of the Nile Delta and the Mediterrannean shore to the east of the delta, in the end the sand-bars separating lakes from the Mediterranean may disappear, re-converting the lakes into coastal lagoons. Quite a lot of Dunlin visit northern Egypt, but the hunting pressure is intolerable and waterbird populations are decreasing. "Killing waters", Al Ahram Weekly Online, 6 - 12 September 2001. In matters of waterland conservation, Egypt is the sick man of the Mediterranean area.

EGYPT, Sinai Peninsula, W of the Gaza Strip, Lake Bardawil (c31° 8' N, 33° 14' E): a coastal saline lagoon, covering some 595 km2, separated from the Mediterranean by sand-bars. It is said to be the least polluted lake/lagoon out of half a dozen major ones on the Egyptian Mediterranean coast. (Reference)

EGYPT, Nile Delta, Damietta Branch, Port Said Lake Manzala (c32° 04' N, 31° 17' E). The lake covers some 2,500 km2 and has more than 1,000 islands; it is separated from the Mediterranean by a sand-bar with three inlets. This lake receives drainage water from 7 major sources, much land has been reclaimed for agriculture into recent years, and there has been a period of severe overfishing in the near past. Today growing aquaculture is taking the place of fisheries. Shooting waders, including Kentish Plover, was still common practice here in the early 1990s (de Roder et al. 1994) and is likely to have continued more recently. WSG: Species account. "There were also up to 36,180 waders present in spring 1990, indicating the great importance of the wetland for populations of passage migrants, especially of Recurvirostra avosetta, Calidris minuta, Calidris alpina and Philomachus pugnax." (BirdLife International), online video on "Engineered Wetlands", a project with UNDP involvement.

EGYPT, Sinai Peninsula, Zaranik Protected Area (31° 03' - 12' N, 33° 16' - 33' E): 8,134, a lagoon on the eastern side of Lake Bardawil, the protected area covering some 28 km2 (the figure varies, depending on what is included). Both areas are designated as Ramsar sites, but Lake Bardawil is the centre of some important fishery, and there are saltworks within the protected area. (Reference), Management Plan for Zaranik from MedWetCoast, area description from Sandgrouse, it is noted here that bird numbers (Garganey, Sandpipers) are decreasing.

FRANCE, Bouches du Rhône, La Camargue (c43° 20'N, 4° 38' E): maximum 4,500 at La Gacholle 12.3.95, 4,000 at Salin-de-Giraud 20.4.95, 3,700 at salins d'Aigues-Mortes 17.1.96. According to Fuchs 1973 the Dunlin favours high salinity in La Camargue (much like in South San Francisco Bay and Laguna Madre) and occurs mainly at Salins du Midi and on the south side of Étang de Vaccarès, but is often evicted from inland sites between November and the end of February by high water levels. Fuchs also gives maximum values close to 3,000 birds between the two arms of the Rhône in March and November 1972. The salinity of the "Vaccarès system" varies with annual precipitation and with flooding or controlled inlets from the Mediterranean. (Reference)

GREECE, overall. Three Greek Ramsar sites were removed from the Montreux Record in 1999 as a result of gross mismanagement, and many waterfowl reserves of Greece are still grossly mismanaged: Reference.

GREECE, Ipiros, Amvrakikos Lagoon (c39° N, 21° E) at the double delta of Louros and Aractos rivers (c38° 20' N, 21° 15' E), brackish lagoons, mudflats, saltmarsh. Curlew Sandpipers pass by in numbers, but there are no Dunlin counts from this site, although they are there. BirdLife International. The rivers carry large amounts of pesticide and herbicide residues to the lagoon.

GREECE, Sterea Ellas, Messolonghi Lagoon at the double delta of Acheloos and Evinos rivers (c38° 20' N, 21° 15' E), a Ramsar site since 1975. 1,600 Dunlin (stationary wintering birds) according to Ramsar Directory of Wetlands

GREECE, Thrace, the Evros delta (40° 52' N, 26° 00' E), link from BirdLife International. The state of the delta as an entity is a disgrace (much the same applies to the Nestos delta), and it was taken off the Montreux Record in 1999.

HUNGARY Lake Fertö (47° 00' N, 16° 43' E), a shallow, alkaline steppe lake, connected with and cooperating with Neusiedlersee in Austria. The habitat is gradually being improved, for the benefit of waders. Links: BirdLife International, Ramsar information sheet

ITALY, Veneto, the Po delta (c44° 56' N, 12° 16' E), count in 1994: 1,012. (Birdlife International).

ITALY, Veneto, Venice Lagoon (c45° 22' N, 12° 28' E), an inlet of the Adriatic Sea, the city is founded on its islets, count in 1995: 22,310. (Birdlife International). The Venice Lagoon Ecosystem, Inputs and Interactions between Land and Sea

ROMANIA, Danube delta and Razelm-Sinoe complex (44° 24' - 45° 26' N, 29° 42' -28° 45' E), link from BirdLife International.

SPAIN, Catalonia, Ebro delta (c40° 43' N, 0° 44' E), natural park covering 7,736 hectares: min. 10,000, max. 21,000 in winter. Threats to the delta include recurring plans to divert water from river Ebro for agricultural uses. BirdLife International.

SYRIA, Aleppo, Sabkhat al-Jabbul (36°, 04' N, 37° 30' E):

TUNISIA, Gulf of Gabès, Kneiss (34° 24' N, 10° 19' E). Kneiss "harbours the largest concentration of wintering Dunlins Calidris alpina in the Mediterranean" according to a WIWO newsletter "WIWO Forward Plan 1999-2003". A fact-sheet from estimates the minimum presence of Dunlin in the area at 125,000. "It is also the most important wintering area for waders in the Mediterranean, numbers of which can reach 330,000." Bos et al. 2001 (WIWO Report 74) counted 27,700 Dunlins at Kneiss 22 -29.9.99.

TURKEY, Adana, Cukurova delta/Yumurtalik Lagoon (The lagoon is a Nature Reserve: 16,430 hectares, the delta is the common estuary of rivers Seyhan, Ceyhan and Tarsus, c36° 42' N, 35° 37' E): "huge numbers of stints near Kaldirim possibly belonged to this species (Dunlin)" (Reference). Minimum count in 1992: 7,239, reference: Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands. Link from BirdLife International. The whole coastal zone is getting increasingly polluted with and by holiday houses - a global pollution problem.

TURKEY, Bay of Izmir, Gediz delta (38° 33' N, 26° 55' E), link from BirdLife International.

UKRAINE, Crimea, Sea of Azov, Eastern Sivash (45° 26' N - 46° 18' N and 34° 39' E - 35° 47'E): maximum April-May, Aug-Sep 34,668, estimated migration 127,000, from counts 1991 - 2005. Ref.: European commission.

UKRAINE, Kherson, Dniepr Estuary, Tendra and Yagorlitsky Bays, part of the Black Sea (Chernomorskiy) Biosphere Reserve (c46° 07' to 33' N, 31° 36' to 32° 18' E). To the landside of these bays are about 200 freshwater and saline lakes that have been gradually wasted by irrigation projects after 1998. It is stated that 3,000 - 5,000 Dunlin may use these lakes on either spring or autumn migration. A. Rudenko: Habitat for waterbirds in the lakes of the Black Sea Biosphere Reserve, pp. 152-158. Link 1, BirdLife International

EAST ATLANTIC FLYWAY: (Calidris alpina alpina, arctica, centralis?, schinzii)

Waterbird Population Estimates, 4th ed. 2007; (one has to log in to get it) estimates the Icelandic schinzii population at 940 - 960,000 inds., and states that this subspecies occasionally breeds in SE Greenland, which shows how nonsensical the subspecific division is in this case (the same applies to E Siberia); there is a gradual cline along the Greenland E coast, and the SE Greenland arctica i have seen differ little from Iceland schinzii. The Britain and Ireland population of schinzii is estimated at 23,000 - 26,000 inds., which already may be on the high side. The Greenland arctica is estimated at 21,000 - 45,000 inds. (JNCC UK Species account: 15,000), which shows that there is most uncertainty here. Finally, the alpina population is estimated at 1,330,000 inds., and it is suggested that this population is virtually stable. This indicates that the trends from recent British counts haven't penetrated to Waterbirds International; on the other han it has been suggested that the British and Irish declines are outweighed by an increase of Dunlin wintering in the Dutch Waddensea.

WESTERN EUROPE: A British government report estimated the "biogeographic population" at 1,373,000 birds, referring to Rose & Scott 1997. The Common Waddensea Secretariat, quoting Wetlands International 2002, estimates the wintering alpina population at 1,330,000 birds in a report from 2005, Wetlands International repeating this estimate in January 2007. "In mild winters, up to 291,700 counted birds (January 2000, 328,400 estimated) stay in the Wadden Sea habitats." Furthermore: "The maximum number of counted birds in autumn 1992-1999 was reached in August 1996 with 991,200 birds counted (1,020,800 estimated). While counted numbers in September 1992-1999 seem to be lower than in August, estimated numbers suggest that more than 1.2 million birds stay in the Wadden Sea during this month, thus practically the entire alpina population". And finally: "In spring, numbers build up from March (630,300 counted, 801,000 estimated in March 1998) to early May (899,400 counted and 1,003,800 estimated in 1995). The numbers for March and April are higher than in the previous decade, while the peak numbers in May 1992-2000 are comparable to the maximum of 1,120,000 counted birds in May 1990."

References to BTO Wetland Bird Surveys for all English, Scottish, North Irish and Irish sites below: BTO Wetland Bird Survey 2003/04, BTO Wetland Bird Survey 2004/05, BTO Wetland Bird Survey 2005/06.

ENGLAND (west coast), Merseyside/Lancashire, Preston, Alt Estuary, merging with Ribble Estuary (see below) (c53° 42' N, 2° 59' W): 5-year peak mean 2001/02 - 2005/06 8,358, maximum November 2005 5,184. Ribble and Alt Estuaries Special Protection Area.

ENGLAND Essex, (Thames larger estuary), Blackwater Estuary (51° 43' N, 00° 51' E): 5-year peak mean 2001/02 - 2005/06 15,193, maximum 2000/01 (37,550), maximum 2001/02 15,004, maximum 2002/03 18,806, maximum 2003/04 13,958, maximum December 2004 (16,007), maximum December 2005 12,189.

ENGLAND, (south coast), Chichester Harbour (c50° 50' N, 0° 47' W): rolling five-year means of peak number of wintering Dunlin 1993/94 - 1997/98 to 2001/02 - 2004/05. 5-year peak mean 2001/02 - 2005/06 14,360, maximum December 2004 12,651, maximum January 2006 12,989. Also see "Species Spotlight - The Dunlin" in Dee Estuary Newsletter, December 2003, and Wildlife and ecological research in Chichester Harbour 2005-06, quotation from the latter: "Numbers of Dunlin in autumn were up slightly but remain relatively low. The winter peak was 12,989 in January; the trend in this continues downward."

ENGLAND/WALES (west coast), Wirral, Dee Estuary, West Kirby (c53° 25' N, 3° 00' W): 5-year peak mean 2001/02 - 2005/06 26,828, maximum 1999/00 21,627, maximum 2000/01 41,656, maximum 2001/02 34,448, maximum 2002/03 21,266, maximum December 2003 41,679, maximum February 2005 16,878, maximum February 2006 19,867. (Reference1, Reference 2).

ENGLAND (SE coast), Essex, Dengie Flats (c51° 42' N, 1° 02' E): 5-year peak mean 2001/02 - 2005/06 7,474, maximum January 2006 8,200. Essex estuaries SAP. ENGLAND, (east coast), Hull, Humber Estuary (c53° 42' N, 0° 20' W): 5-year peak mean 2001/02 - 2005/06 22,576, maximum 2000/01 18,502, maximum 2001/02 24,378, maximum 2002/03 24,168, maximum 2003/04 19,182, maximum March 2005 (14,733), maximum December 2005 (15,378). Stable numbers between October and February if there is no influx, the birds are concentrated on the northern shores from Hull to Spurn Point. Peak maximum March 2004: 11,070, March 1999: 14,708. (Reference). Note a link from an industrial neighbour: Huntsman Tioxide.

ENGLAND, (south coast, between Portsmouth and Chichester), Langstone Harbour (50° 42' - 50° 47' N, 1° 00' - 1° 05' W): 5-year peak mean 2001/02 - 2005/06 21,940, maximum 2000/01 23,790, maximum 2001/02 17,500, maximum 2002/03 17,320, maximum 2003/04 24,286, maximum February 2005 28,239, maximum December 2005 22,356. RSPB reference with map. Islets and shorelines at Langstone Harbour are threatened by wave erosion and rising sea levels.

ENGLAND, (east coast), Northumberland, tidal shores surrounding the island of Lindisfarne (c55° 41' N, 1°, 49' W): 5-year peak mean 2001/02 - 2005/06 8,616, maximum 2000/01 5,777, maximum 2001/02 9,085, maximum 2002/03 (9,991), maximum 2003/04 (9,503), maximum January 2005 5,885, maximum January 2005 (5,540). BTO low tide counts 2004/05, peak 3,245, mean 3,245.(Reference).

ENGLAND, (east coast) Kent, Medway Estuary on the south side of Thames Estuary, with Swale Estuary in turn as an appendix (51° 24' N, 0° 40'E): 5-year peak mean 2001/02 - 2005/06 7,520, maximum December 2005 7,367. Medway Estuary and Marshes SPA. Map showing distributon of Dunlins along the estuary. 22 hectares of the Lappel Bank were excluded when the area was declared Special Protection Area in 1993, hence: Lappel Bank and Fagbury Flats. Compensatory Measures. Site Suitability for Waterfowl BTO Research Report No. 210.

ENGLAND, (west coast), Cheshire, Mersey Estuary (53° 20' N, 2° 56'W): 5-year peak mean 2001/02 - 2005/06 44,428, maximum 1999/00 42,120, maximum 2000/01 60,330, maximum 2001/02 45,756, maximum 2002/03 58,463, maximum 2003/04 40,170, maximum December 2004 43,020, maximum November 2005 34,731. About the proposed "Mersey tidal-energy barrage".
ENGLAND, (west coast), South Cumbria, Morecambe Bay (54° 07' N 02° 57' W): highest 5-year peak mean 1989/90 - 93/94 59,629, mean 5-year maximum 2001/02 - 2005/06 20,780. Maximum 1999/00 28,411, maximum 2000/01 27,645, maximum 2001/02 18,947, maximum 2002/03 18,214, maximum 2003/04 18,847, maximum February 2005 (17,848), maximum February 2006 (27,110). Morecambe Bay is one of the four marine Special Areas of Conservation in England. (Morecambe Bay European Marine Site Management Scheme, Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands. BTO low tide counts 2004/05, peak 17,497, mean 8,484.(Reference).

ENGLAND, (east coast), Suffolk, Ipswich, Orwell/Stour Estuaries (c52° 02' N, 1° 12' E): 5-year peak mean 2001/02 - 2005/06 7,610, maximum March 2006 7,019. BTO low tide counts 2004/05, peak 3,856, mean 3,136.(Reference).

ENGLAND, (south coast), Dorset, Poole Harbour (c50° 41' N, 1° 57' W): 5-year peak mean 2000/01 - 2004/05 6,119, maximum 1999/00 6,693, maximum 2000/01 4,852, maximum 2001/02 (6,929), maximum 2002/03 (6,323), maximum 2003/04 (5,463), maximum January 2005 (7,026), maximum January 2006 (2,182). BTO low tide counts 2004/05, peak 6,551, mean 3,449.(Reference). Poole Harbour Study Group.

ENGLAND, (west coast), Lancashire, Preston, Ribble Estuary (c53° 42' N, 2° 59' W): 5-year peak mean 2001/02 - 2005/06 16,980, maximum 1999/00 , maximum 2000/01 (36,473), maximum 2001/02 11,141, maximum 2002/03 11,423, maximum 2003/04 24,445, maximum January 2005 24,024 maximum March 2006 13,866. National Nature Reserves: "Ribble Estuary NNR is the most important site in the UK for wintering wildfowl. The reserve occupies over half of the total area of the Ribble estuary, including extensive areas of mud and sand flats and almost all of the saltmarsh habitat - one of the largest single areas of saltmarsh in England."

ENGLAND, (south-west coast), innermost part of the Bristol Channel, Severn Estuary (51° 20' - 51° 45' N, 2° 20' - 3° 00' W): 5-year peak mean 2001/02 - 2005/06 22,374, maximum 1999/00 , maximum 2000/01 (17,417), maximum 2001/02 20,401, maximum 2002/03 25,734, maximum 2003/04 23,801, maximum December 2004 (16,069), maximum February 2006 19,561. From Wikipedia: "The estuary begins at the Second Severn Crossing and stretches to a line from Lavernock Point (south of Cardiff) to Sand Point near Weston-super-Mare. (...) The river's estuary has the second largest tidal range in the world - about 15 metres, exceeded only by the Bay of Fundy in Canada - and at spring tides, the rising water is funnelled up the estuary into a wave that travels rapidly upstream against the river current." This remarkable area is threatened by the recurring plans for a Severn Barrage; in January 2008 the British government ordered a new "feasibility study" of this notorious project.
Ramsar Information sheet.
SCOTLAND/ENGLAND, (west coast), Lake district, Cumbria, Solway Estuary (c55° N, 3° W and westwards): 5-year peak mean 2001/02 - 2005/06 14,479, maximum 1999/00 , maximum 2000/01 15,093, maximum 2001/02 12,861, maximum 2002/03 12,850, maximum 2003/04 17,576, maximum November 2004 (14,628), maximum March 2006 8,280.

ENGLAND, (east coast) Kent, Swale Estuary, a narrow channel, separating Isle of Sheppey from the Kent mainland (c51° 24' N, 0° 40' E): 5-year peak mean 2001/02 - 2005/06 9,617, maximum December 2005 7,830. Oare Marshes nature reserve is situated on the south side of the estuary. Ramsar sheet.

ENGLAND, (south-east coast), London area, Thames Estuary (c51° 30' N, 1° E): 5-year peak mean 2001/02 - 2005/06 45,125, maximum 1999/00 (29,019), maximum 2000/01 44,907, maximum 2001/02 48,104, maximum 2002/03 54,205, maximum 2003/04 (27,318), maximum December 2004 40,838, maximum December 2005 37,352. Map showing distributon of Dunlins along the estuary.

ENGLAND, (east coast), Norfolk/Lincoln, The Wash (52° 58' N, 0° 20' W): 5-year peak mean 2001/02 - 2005/06 32,827, maximum 1999/00 41,503, maximum 2000/01 35,080, maximum 2001/02 31,069, maximum 2002/03 42,794, maximum 2003/04 31,624, maximum February 2005 39,041, maximum December 2005 19,605.

GREAT BRITAIN estimated wintering population for the period 1987/88 - 91/92: 532,000, maximum recorded in the season 1998/99: 507,169. The Wetlands Bird Survey 2004/05 offered a maximum of 334,093 Dunlins in January 2005, the Wetlands Bird Survey 2005/06 a maximum of 301,392 Dunlins in December 2005, Northern Ireland alone had a maximum of 9,185 in February 2005, 9,967 in January 2006. (Reference)

FRANCE has carved out a position for itself in the European "union", still killing more waders than all other members together, partly by methods (nocturnal hunting) regarded as criminal in other parts of Europe. It's so distressing to see one nation walk down this road, while most other EU members are counting waders with concerned expressions. Only Greece and Egypt are on a par, while Spain, Italy and Portugal pay at least some lip service to wader/waterfowl conservation.

FRANCE, Basse-Normandie, Anse de Fouras (western corner of Baie de la Seine; anse is one French word for bay). Maximum count 1991: 12,520. 32,500 hectares classified as Ramsar Site, 20,715 hectares as Special Protection Area, in addition vast areas are Natura 2000: map, species classified, but the hunting isn't banned. BirdLife International.

FRANCE, Basse-Normandie, Baie du Mont Saint Michel (eastern corner of Baie de la Seine), includes raised saltmarshes and islands. Maximum count 1991: 35,000. This is the major area for bathing tourism in France. Reference: BirdLife International.

FRANCE, Basse-Normandie, Baie de Veys (western corner of Baie de la Seine). Maximum count 1991: 12,520. 32,500 hectares classified as Ramsar Site, 20,715 hectares as Special Protection Area, in addition vast areas are Natura 2000: map, species classified, but the hunting isn't banned. BirdLife International.

FRANCE, Bretagne, overall. "Effective means of Dunlin wintering in the coastal zone of four départements in Bretagne and in la Loire-Atlantique, according to counts in mid-January organised by Wetlands International": 161,528 with 84 % of the main possible sites counted. (Reference: Bretagne Environnement). Zones d'Importance Communautaire pour les Oiseaux, map of important sites in Bretagne.

FRANCE, Bretagne, Baie de Goulven. A tidal flat extending inland, an open bay facing the ocean, maximum count 1997: 4,060. The whole area was threatened by plans for some sort of aquaculture, local resistance groups were formed, and in due time the overall area was shoved underneath the Natura 2000: map, species parachute (which still doesn't mean very much in terms of protection in France).

FRANCE, Bretagne, Baie de Morlaix et de Carantec (northern Bretagne, same longitude as Plymouth, a Y-formed estuary). Maximum count 1997: 12,800. Reference: BirdLife International.

FRANCE, Bretagne, Baie de Quiberon (47° 32' N, 3° 04' W). "This is an important site for wintering waterbirds, particularly Branta bernicla and Calidris alpina." Reference: BirdLife International.

FRANCE, Bretagne, Baie de Saint-Brieuc (western, inner part of Golfe de St Malo). Maximum count 1991: 4,450. The area contains a réserve naturelle comprising 1140 hectares, it was established in 1998, has Natura 2000 status. Reference: BirdLife International.

FRANCE, Bretagne, Baie de Vilaine (47° 30' N, 02° 28' W), estuary of the river Vilaine, catching water from 1/3 of Bretagne; intertidal flats and saltmarshes. Few counts - "the site holds 20,000 or more waterbirds in winter, on a regular basis." Reference: BirdLife International. There was a catastrophic fish-death in the bay in 1982; the outlets from the Vilaine consumed all oxygen in the bay.

FRANCE, Bretagne, Estuaires du Trieux et du Jaudy (48° 50' N, 03° 07' W)). No counts, but Dunlins winter there. Natura 2000: map, species.. Reference: BirdLife International.

FRANCE, Bretagne, Golfe du Morbihan (47° 34' N, 02° 46' W). Maximum count 1997: 29,780. Natura 2000: map, species.. Reference: BirdLife International.

FRANCE, Charente-Maritime, Poitou-Charentes, l'Ile de Ré, Fiers d'Ars (c45 ° 54' N, 01° 10' W). A bay on the NW side of l'Ile d'Ars with intertidal flats and saltmarshes. Maximum count 1997: 17,050. Natura 2000: map, species.. Reference: BirdLife International.

FRANCE, Charente-Maritime, Poitou-Charentes, S of Rochefort, up to l'Ile d'Oléron, Marais de Brouage (c45 ° 54' N, 01° 10' W). A bay with intertidal flats and surrounding marshes. Maximum count 1997: 16,517. Natura 2000: map, species.. Reference: BirdLife International.

FRANCE, Charente-Maritime, Poitou-Charentes, N of Rochefort, Marais d'Yves (46 ° 01'N, 00° 57' W), including Anse de Fouras and marais de Rochefort. A bay with intertidal flats and surrounding marshes. Maximum count 1997: 35,800. Natura 2000: map, species.. Reference: BirdLife International.

FRANCE, Charente-Maritime: estuaries of la Charente and la Gironde. Two areas with severe nocturnal hunting and little ornithological information, they should be considered as caught in the claws of "la chasse". This is the disgrace No.1 of Europe as a political unit, a vast wilderness of hunting illegality at the international level. Reference: BirdLife International 1, BirdLife International 2. On 6 July 2004, a handful of Charente-Maritime areas were finally declared Natura 2000 sites.

FRANCE, Gironde, Bassin d'Arcachon (155 km2) et Banc d'Arguin (centre of the N - S French coastline of the Bay of Biscay, with Cap Ferret finishing off the BdA). Maximum estimate 1997: 30,000. Reference: BirdLife International. Le Banc d'Arguin is a réserve naturelle since 1972, but that doesn't help much in France; the whole "basin" is polluted from oyster cultures. It is promised that some 10 % of the overall area will be brought together into a marine national park by 2012.

FRANCE, Loire, Baie de l'Aiguillon and surrounding marshes, "Les Mizottes". Max count (estimate) 1997, 20,000. Introductory document with map, link to Natura 2000. Reference: BirdLife International

FRANCE, Loire, the common estuary of Sèvre and Loire: Baie de Bourgneuf (46 ° 54'N, 01° 55' W). Max count 1997, 15,582, estimated max. number on passage: 20,000. Ordinary French conditions: little protection, too much hunting. At least the area is listed as a Natura 2000 object. Reference: BirdLife International

FRANCE, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Cap Gris-Nez (c50° 52' N, 1° 35' E). Estimated "passage" in 1997, min. 10,000, min. 20,000. Reference: BirdLife International

FRANCE, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Estuaire de la Canche (c50° 32' N, 1° 34' E). The dunlin is not mentioned from here, but it should be. Reference: BirdLife International, Natura 2000: map, species

FRANCE, Picardy, Baies de Somme et d'Authie. Max count 1997, 21,851. The area of "hunting reserves" to a large extent coincides with the area of "natural reserves", almost everywhere in France nature is "protected" essentially for the sake of hunting. Natura 2000 map." Reference: BirdLife International.

GERMANY, max. count 742,700, tendency decreasing, source: "Trends of migratory waterbirds in the German Wadden Sea from 1987/1988 to 2001/2002. Vogelwelt 126: 99 - 125.

ICELAND, Borgafjardarsysla (SW coast, N of Reykjavik), Akranes, Grunnafjördur (64° 23' N, 21° 55' W), estuary of river Laxi, saltmarshes, intertidal flats. "Important staging area for waterbirds", reference A Directory of Wetlands.

ICELAND, Austur-Skaftafellssýsla (SE coast), Skardsfjördur (64° 16' N, 15° 04' W), brackish coastal lagoon with intertidal flats. Staging Dunlin in spring(?) min. estimate 5,000, max. estimate 10,000. Reference: BirdLife International, satellite view.

ICELAND, S of Reykjavik, between Seltjarnarnes and Alftanes (SW coast), Skerjafjördur (c64° 04' N, 22° W), intertidal flats, brackish lagoons, saltmarshes. Mentioned by BirdLife International in the following terms: "Calidris alpina (few hundreds staging on passage)".

IRELAND, south-west coast, Countys Clare - Kerry - Limerick, Shannon & Fergus Estuary (N of c52° 25' N, between c9 and 10° W): maximum (?) count 13,174. Reference: Crowe, O. 2005. Ireland’s Wetlands and their Waterbirds: Status and Distribution. BirdWatch Ireland. The estuary is dredged on an annual basis, a vessel for the job was ordered from the Dutch provider Damen Shipyards in Gorinchem in 2007. The Dutch are omnipresent in shallow waters.

IRELAND For the Republic of Ireland the BTO Wetlands Bird Survey 2004/05 offered a maximum of 46,050 Dunlins in January 2005. In contrast a site description of Blackrock and Dundalk Bay estimates the wintering population of Ireland at between 85,000 and 125,000 birds, i.e. some 10 % of the flyway population, this value obviously based on the peak January value for the period 1996-2000 in "Ireland's Wetlands and their Waterbirds: Status and Distribution" by Olivia Crowe, a Birdwatch Ireland publication from 2005. The average annual change is stated to be -5 % for the same period. The main areas for Dunlin of the overall island are, with mean of peak counts 1996/97 to 2000/01 next to each site: Shannon and Fergus Estuary/13,174, Dundalk Bay/12,149, Cork Harbour/9,217, Lough Swilly, Donegal/6,907, Strangford Lough/6,658, Dublin Bay/6,377, Lough Foyle, Derry/4,746, Dungarvan Harbour, Waterford/4,567, Ballymacoda, Cork/3,333, Rogerstown Estuary, N Dublin/3,128, Bannow Bay, Wexford/2,798, Mal Bay-Doonbeg Bay, Clare/2,440, Wexford Harbour & Slobs/2,416, Inner Galway Bay/2,203, Killala Bay, Mayo/2,049, Tralee Bay, Kerry/1,891, Outer Ards, Down/1,818, Malahide Estuary, N Dublin/1,745, Mullet, Broadhaven & Blacksod Bays, Mayo/1,663, Carlingford Lough/1,648. A strictly juridical evaluation of the development in Ireland, by Conor Linehan, Environmental Law Unit, William Fry, Solicitors, Dublin.

IRELAND, east coast, Co. Louth, Blackrock/Dundalk Bay (53° 55' N, 6° 45' W): maximum (?) count 12,149, maximum number recorded in the Blackrock area Jan. 1994 - Nov. 2006: 7,850. Count reference: Crowe, O. 2005. Ireland’s Wetlands and their Waterbirds: Status and Distribution. BirdWatch Ireland, site reference.

IRELAND, east coast, Dublin, North Bull Island (53° 17' N, 6° 05' W). Order of magnitude 1,000 Dunlin rest here at different tides in winter. The 2005/2006 peak count for the whole of the Dublin Bay was 3,350, the mean peak 1994/99 6,810 and for 2001/06 5,428; numbers are steadily declining. Reference. The North Bull area is in a sense man-made, created by silt deposited by the river Liffey behind a wall (the North Bull Wall) that was built from the 1820s in order to protect the port entry to Dublin. It has been called "the greatest accident that ever happened in Dublin", and in a sense it still has the looks of that; the shores of the tidal lagoons are extremely polluted by all kinds of waste, rat is the dominant mammal and dogs run freely everywhere, much like in Lake Tunis. Dublin in general is polluted with dogs as much as by dogs; there is no law enforcement and nature reserves suffer from a typically Irish lack of management. There is a sort of stagnation when it comes to conservancy in Dublin, obvious also from the filthy Booterstown Reserve (WHY is it there?) and the non-existent "Brent reserve" at the South Bull Wall.
Almost forty years ago (1971), however, the original Ramsar Conference adopted the following recommendation: NOTING that development has commenced of North Bull Island near Dublin, a vitally important waterfowl habitat; CONSIDERING that it ranks fourth in importance among Ireland’s list of wetlands, is the winter habitat of many thousands of waterfowl, and moreover is the only wetland of international significance within a capital city in Europe; BEING deeply concerned at the development of this area; RECOMMENDS to the Government of Ireland that this wetland should be excluded from further development.

THE NETHERLANDS, the whole Waddensea area: numbers decreasing till c1984/85, after that c50 % growth of the population present at all times of the year, up to 2001/02. Peak numbers just below 300,000 in both September and April, many birds continue west- and southwards. Reference: Trends in benthivorous waterbirds in the Dutch Wadden Sea 1975-2002: large differences between shellfisheaters and worm-eaters: "(...)for ten species the trend in the period 1975/76-1990/91 differed significantly from that during 1991/92-2001/02. This concerns especially species that mainly feed on either worms or shellfish. Furthermore, worm-eating species and shellfish-eating species show opposite trends, a difference that is significant for the period 1991/92-2001/02. All four species which depend on bivalves have decreased (Common Eider, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Red Knot and European Herring Gull), whereas five out of six worm-eating species have increased. The larger the contribution of shellfish in the diet, the larger the population decrease in 1991/92-2001/02. Other studies have shown that the recent decrease in Common Eider and Eurasian Oystercatcher numbers are at least partly caused by deteriorating feeding opportunities. Intertidal mussel beds have largely disappeared in the early nineties (due to overfishing, poor spatfall and possibly winter storms) and cockles were heavily exploited by commercial mechanised fisheries. For Red Knot especially the disturbance of the sediment by mechanised cockle fisheries is important with a range of effects on the quality and quantity of their food. The recent, broad increase of numbers of worm-eating species may be linked to a shift in the ecosystem (reduced shellfish stocks, increased worm stocks) but the mechanisms underlying this change remain to be identified fully." Also note the footnote by T. Piersma (2007) in J. Orn. 148 (suppl. 1) 45-59: Ironically, the intertidal mud- and sandflats in the Dutch Wadden Sea belong to the best formally protected areas in The Netherlands, having received multiple conservation agreement assignments. Despite this, the government issued permits for novel industrial forms of shellfish harvesting on the basis of the argument that these represented extensions of old fishing rights.
Parts of the Netherlands lie below the average ocean level, the lowest area being Prince Alexanderpolder at 6.3 metres below "Normal Amsterdam Pejl". For this reason the interior parts of Dutch estuaries are spanned by a network of barrages (Reference). During the course of the 20th century such projects have gradually transformed saltwater areas (Zee) into freswater ones (Meer), the transformation of Zuiderzee into Ijsselmeer being the foremost example. The Netherlands have wasted enormous foraging areas for waterbirds in the last hundred years; the question is how much recompense that has been created in the course of the same process. In 2008 the BTO Wetland Bird Survey suggests that the declining winter population of the British isles is made up for by an increase in Dunlin wintering in the Waddensea. Natura 2000 sites according to the Bird Directive.

THE NETHERLANDS, Friesland, Ameland: Duinen-Oerd (c53° 28' N, 05° 45' E), Ameland is the dune island squeezed in between Terschelling and Schiermonnikoog: counts in 1990, probably high-tide, winter 10,314, autumn or spring 20,463. BirdLife International.

THE NETHERLANDS, Noord-Holland, Balgzand (c52° 55' N, 04° 46' E), dyke (Balgzanddijk), saltmarshes, intertidal flats east of Den Helder, serves as high tide roost: autumn or spring count in 1990, probably high-tide 34,995. BirdLife International.

THE NETHERLANDS, Groningen, on the German border, Dollard (c53° 17' N, 07° 08' E), estuary, intertidal flats, saltmarshes, dyke: autumn or spring count in 1991, probably high-tide 21,465. BirdLife International.

THE NETHERLANDS, Friesland, Frisian Wadden Sea coast (c53° 20' N, 05° 45' E), intertidal flats, saltmarshes, polders, the Friesland dyke (40 kms), serves as a high-tide roost: counts in 1990, probably high-tide, winter 9,161, autumn or spring 42,094. BirdLife International.

THE NETHERLANDS, Friesland, Griend (c53° 20' N, 05° 45' E), intertidal flats, a dyke on the north side: counts in 1989, probably high-tide, autumn or spring 30,118. BirdLife International. Aerial photo

THE NETHERLANDS, Groningen, Groningen Wadden Sea coast (c53° 26' N, 06° 34' E), intertidal flats, saltmarshes, polders, the Groningen dyke (34 kms), serves as a high-tide roost: counts in 1990, probably high-tide, autumn or spring 26,474. BirdLife International.

THE NETHERLANDS, Zeeland, Oosterschelde (c51° 33' N, 03° 58' E), former estuary of the river Scheldt, shut off by a barrage: count in 1990, probably high-tide (not clear what time of year) 39,459. BirdLife International. The Oosterschelde storm surge barrier, and a satellite picture in Wikipedia.

THE NETHERLANDS, Groningen, Rottumeroog (53° 33' N, 06° 35' E) a moving, partly eroded barrier island: count in 1992, probably high-tide (not clear what time of year) 29,120. BirdLife International.

THE NETHERLANDS, Groningen, Rottumerplaat (53° 32' N, 06° 30' E) a growing, reinforced barrier island: count in 1991, probably high-tide (not clear what time of year) 37,977. BirdLife International.

THE NETHERLANDS, Friesland, Schiermonnikoog (53° 28' N, 06° 11' E): mean 600 - 3,000, maximum count 55,230, counts on high tide roosts 1961 - 2004. Ref.: European commision. BirdLife International.

THE NETHERLANDS, Friesland, Terschelling, De Boschplaat (53° 26' N, 05° 28' E) eastern part of the island, high tide roost: count in 1992 20,392. BirdLife International.

NORTHERN IRELAND, Antrim-Down, Belfast Lough (c54° 35' N, 5° 55' W): BTO low tide counts 2004/05, peak 1,136, mean 919. 5-year peak mean 2001/02 - 2005/06 1,198, maximum 2000/01 1,366, maximum 2001/02 1,278, maximum 2002/03 1,193, maximum 2003/04 1,461, maximum December 2004 1,136, maximum January 2006 920. BTO low tide counts 2004/05, peak 1,136, mean 919. Site description.

NORTHERN IRELAND, County Down, Carlingford Lough, a narrow lough penetrating deep inland on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, estuary for Newry River (c54° 03' N, 6° 09' W): 5-year peak mean 2001/02 - 2005/06 2,222, maximum December 2005 1,573. On the web the whole area seems to be marinas and golf courses, so here a picture when CL was part of Arcadia. Dredging of mussels has been as harmful here as in Strangford Lough.

NORTHERN IRELAND, western border betw. Donegal and Ulster, Lough Foyle (c55° 05' N, 7° 01' W): BTO low tide counts 2004/05, peak 5,659, mean 4,442. 5-year peak mean 2001/02 - 2005/06 3,743, maximum 2000/01 5,800, maximum 2001/02 2,804, maximum 2002/03 4,209, maximum 2003/04 4,212, maximum November 2004 1,688. (Reference 1, Reference 2).

NORTHERN IRELAND, County Down, Strangford Lough (c54° 15' N, 5° 45' W): BTO low tide counts 2004/05, peak 5,659, mean 4,442. 5-year peak mean 2001/02 - 2005/06 5,066, maximum 2000/01 2,733, maximum 2001/02 3,352, maximum 2002/03 4,408, maximum 2003/04 4,967, maximum February 2005 4,934, maximum December 2005 7,669. (Reference). Due to the turbulence accompanying strong tidal currents the water body of Strangford Lough has practically no stratification; hence oxygen and nutrients are never depleted and even the bottom communities are very productive. The whole Lough was designated Northern Ireland's first Marine Nature Reserve in 1995 and in addition a "Special Protection Area" in 1998, and is said to contain a "largely undisturbed seabed" relative to e.g. the Irish Sea. "Largely" is not quite to the point, however; industrialised mussel fisheries were as harmful here as in the Waddensea, and in 2004 trawling for scallops was totally banned after it turned out that the SPA's horse mussel beds had been practically depleted. Exploitation is a threat in other areas, too, agriculture still has a hold on the interior parts of the Comber estuary (to the NW) and the innermost area south of Newtownards has been partly reclaimed and much wasted. Among diffuse threats to the reserve are plans for a Tidal Turbine Project at the mouth, "The Narrows", where tidal currents are particularly strong. Ever since the windmill pollution got an overall green light in Europe, there is every reason to pay attention to plans for tidal turbine projects, too; in the long run they will develop along the same paths, gradually being accepted as a necessary evil, with little concern for side-effects (Norway is a good example in the case of windmills). [CP]

PORTUGAL, Centro, Ria de Aveiro (c40° 42' N, 8° 40' W). Counts from 2002: min 7,800, max. 10,700. BirdLife International, maps. A maximum January count of 8,621 in 1991 Reference, wintering population estimated at 4,500 inds, maximum count in April 7,300.

PORTUGAL, Algarve, Faro Lagoon (Rio Formosa; c37° 01' N, 07° 49' W). Counts from 1996: min 12,000, max. 22,500. BirdLife International. A maximum January count of 14,070 in 1989 Reference, maximum count in April 6,070.

PORTUGAL, Coimbra, Mondego estuary (40° 08' N, 08° 50' W). The delta has two arms, reconnected in 2006; a harbour (Figueira da Foz) is situated in the northern arm, which has been dredged several times in the 20th century. It was declared a Ramsar site late in history; in December 2005. (Reference).

PORTUGAL, Alentejo, Sado Estuary (c38° 27' N, 08° 43' W). Counts from 1996: min 12,000, max. 16,000. BirdLife International. A maximum January count of 11,485 in 1991 Reference

PORTUGAL, Lisbon, Tejo Estuary (c38° 49' N, 08° 56' W). Counts from 2002: min 6,000, max. 23,500. BirdLife International. A maximum January count of 40,590 in 1979 Reference.

SCOTLAND, Cromarty Firth, at the inner part of Moray Firth (c57° 40' N, 4° 02' W): Winter 2004/2005, figure for Cromarty first, overall Moray figure second, Oct - 1,461/3,686; Dec - 1,602/10,482; Jan - 1,340/6,870; Feb - 550/10,967. Winter 2005/06, figure for Cromarty first, overall Moray figure second, Oct - 806/ 1,703; Dec - 1,201/6,185; Jan - 1,842/9,580; Feb - 835/5,393 "their lowest February total since this study began in 1985/6". (Reference)

SCOTLAND, Edinburgh area, Firth of Forth (c56° 01' N, 03° 45' - 02° 30' W): five year peak mean 98/99 - 2002/03 12,617, 2001/02 - 2005/06 9,767, maximum February 2006 6,422. (Reference).

SCOTLAND "Over the 25-year period (1974/75 - 2000/01), the greatest decline shown was that of Dunlin (-44%), mainly during the late 1970s. This decline was strongly linked to the spread of Spartina anglica, an invasive intertidal cord grass which reduces the area of open mudflat on which the bird forages (Goss-Custard & Moser, 1988)." Reference: Scottish Natural Heritage. The peak count of the Wetland Bird Survey in the winter 2003/04 was 36,861 for Scotland, as compared to the Great Britain estimate (i presume with Scotland excluded): 550,800. Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No. 227 (2007).

SPAIN Invernada y Migracion de Limicolas en el Litoral Atlantico Iberico, by Jesús Domínguez, Ministerio de Medio Ambiente. Fieldwork 1978-82 and 1989-93 (Spain) and 1987-91 (Portugal). Everything needed to evaluate the numbers of shorebirds wintering on the Atlantic coasts of Spain and Portugal is here. 80 - 85,000 Dunlin were estimated to winter on the Iberian Atlantic coast; 34,500 in Spain and 45 - 50,000 in Portugal.

SPAIN, Andalucia, Cádiz Bay (c36° 35' N, 6° 20' W), natural park covering some 10,000 hectares: max. count in 1991 12,176 in winter. BirdLife International. "An outstanding example of Atlantic tidal marshes on the Iberian Peninsula. Much of the saltmarshes have been transformed into salt pans. Nowadays, most of them are no longer in use and have reverted to more natural habitats or been transformed into pans for aquaculture. Natural habitats also include sandy beaches and rocky islets. The Bay of Cadiz is a crucial refueling site for migrating and wintering waterbirds, hosting more than 1% (Ramsar Criterion 5) of 14 different East Atlantic populations." (The Annotated Ramsar List: Spain).

SPAIN, La Coruña, Ortigueira (43° 41' N, 07° 51' W). A maximum January count of 1,729 in 1985 Reference, maximum count in April 389.

SPAIN, Galicia, Ria de Arosa, a small harbour with intertidal mudflats (42° 28' N, 8° 51' W): min. count in 1994 4,267 Dunlin.BirdLife International.

WADDENSEA: Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands; joint evaluation. Source: Overview of Numbers and Trends of Migratory Waterbirds in the Wadden Sea 1980 – 2000. Wadden Sea Ecosystem No. 20.. 1980 - 1991, summer estimate: 8,920 (this might refer to true summering birds, cf. 1992 - 2000 value [CP]), autumn estimate: 1,200,000, winter estimate: 258,000, spring estimate: 1,120,000. 1992 - 2000, summer count/est.: 123,229/186,810 (alpina arrivals must be involved here [CP]), autumn count/est.: 814,509/1,384,306, winter count/est.: 236,219/309,193, spring count/est.: 794,205/906,511.


GUINEA-BISSAU, the Bijagos Archipelago, 88 islands forming a Biosphere Reserve since 1996 (c11° 15' N, c16° W). Estimated wintering number: 1986/87: 400, 1992/93: 710, 1994: 800, 2001: 200. Source: Wadden Sea Newsletter 2002 - 1. Link to BirdLife International.

MAURITANIA, Banc D'Arguin (c19° 21' to 21° 51' N, 16° 00' W to 16° 45' W). The WIWO Report 81 (Hagemeijer et al. 2004) reports in all 2,350,000 waders counted at Banc D'Arguin in January 2000. The NIOZ expeditions, 2002 - 2005, summed counts of Dunlins from five areas: 6 December 2002 41,198, 26 December 2003 41,266, 14 December 2004 72,646 and 6 December 2005 58,473. "A comprehensive survey of the Banc d'Arguin in early 1997 found almost 920,000 C. alpina (mainly schinzii), representing an increase of 12% on the 1980 total (Dodman et al., 1997; African Waterfowl Census 1997, Wetlands International Wageningen)." (NIOZ reference)

MOROCCO, Oued Eddahab, Baie d'Ad Dakhla (c23° 42' N, c15° 51' W), a coastal bay in Moroccan Sahara: 22,000 (no year, no counts of this order of magnitude in the Ramsar description in French). Source: BirdLife International, map of the area.

MOROCCO, Laayoune, Baie de Khnifiss (c28° 00' N, c12° 15' W), a "Permanent Biological Reserve" since 1962; "The most numerous species (both staging and wintering) are waders Limosa lapponica, Calidris canutus and C. alpina." (Ramsar datasheet).

SENEGAL, National Park Djoudj (16° 30' N, 16° 10'W): mean 16, maximum count 172, January counts 1990 - 2006. An alien species, Salvinia molesta, has caused some alarm and put the park on the list of threatened heritage for a couple of years. World Heritage Sites mentions the threats of dams in the Senegal River.

WEST ATLANTIC FLYWAY: (Calidris alpina hudsonia)

Waterbird Population Estimates, 4th ed. 2007; (one has to log in to get it) estimates the hudsonia population at 225,000 inds., unchanged since the 2002 estimate. Canadian Wildlife Service "Estimates of shorebird populations in North America" (2001) gives 1,525,000 Dunlin as "best estimate" for North America, it's a simple repetition and addition of estimates 225,000 (hudsonia) + 550,000 (pacifica) + 750,000 (arcticola). United States Shorebird Conservation Plan 2001 on the other hand puts ">" in front of all three estimates. A North American Shorebird Assessment and Monitoring Program estimates the arcticola population much lower: at 50,000 - 100,000 (based on Warnock & Gill 1996, The Birds of North America, and Bob Gill, pers. comm.), while hudsonia is estimated at 150,000 - 300,000 inds. - and here we probably see the origin of the circulating estimate: 225,000 (again Warnock & Gill 1996, and curiously enough: Wenink et al. 1996!). Several Canadian databases refer to a count of e.g. 1,000 Dunlin in east Canada as "1 % of the flyway population", but without entering deeper into the matter than that. [CP]

CANADA, Ontario, Lake Ontario NE end, Amherst Island, one of the "Thousand Islands" (c51° 20' N, 79°, 31' W): "In 1997, 1,000 Dunlin were recorded although representing less than 1% of the poorly known central Canadian breeding population (ssp. hudsonia), this number is still noteworthy." BirdLife International

CANADA, Québec, estuary of Boyer river, Anse de Saint-Vallier (c46° 53' N, 70°, 51' W), mudflats: 1,250 Dunlin counted in 1988, "the highest numbers (of sandpipers) are found in early August". IBA Site listing.

CANADA, Québec, Batture-aux-Alouettes (c48° 05' N, 69°, 42' W), saltmarshes and intertidal flats on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River: 2,000 Dunlin counted in the autumn of 1988. IBA Site listing.

CANADA, Ontario, SW James Bay, Big Piskwanish Point (c51° 42' N, 80°, 34' W), intertidal flats and seasonally flooded supertidal marsh, tidal range c2 m: 1,000 Dunlin staging in the spring of 1955. IBA Site listing. Big Piskwanish Point has not been the subject of intensive surveys in recent years. However, studies in the early 1950s documented concentrations of tremendous numbers of birds at this site, and there is no reason to doubt that large concentrations are not still present during fall migration. Significant one-day counts were recorded for at least four shorebird species: Hudsonian Godwit, Greater Yellowlegs, Pectoral Sandpiper, and Red Knot. And, over a 20-day period, 4,000 Black-bellied Plovers were recorded. All of these species are thought to be present in numbers that exceed 2% of their North American or global populations (many shorebird population estimates are quite rough). Also, up to 1,000 Dunlin (subspecies hudsonia) have been recorded, and White-rumped Sandpiper is common.

CANADA, New Brunswick, Bay of Fundy, Shepody Bay, Dorchester Cape (c45° 49' N, 64°, 31' W), intertidal mudflats, tidal range 10 - 15 m: "An estimated 2,027 Dunlin use this part of Shepody Bay, representing almost 1% of the central Canadian breeding population." IBA Site listing

CANADA, Ontario (on the border to Québec, this site could be considered with Hannah Bay), SE James Bay, East Point (c51° 25' N, 79°, 51' W), some of the widest coastal marshes and intertidal flats within James Bay: 18,000 Dunlin counted in the autumn of 1985, "representing about 8% of the central Canadian breeding population". IBA Site listing.

CANADA, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Upper Bay of Fundy (Two sections, Minas Basin, Nova Scotia: 45° 10'-45° 50' N and Shepody Bay, New Brunswick: 64° 00' - 64° 40' W). The Bay of Fundy is dominated by order of magnitude 1 million Semipalmated Sandpipers Calidris pusilla, staging here from August. The Dunlins Calidris alpina hudsonia aren't very numerous and occur later, throughout October and in early November; Hicklin 1987 counted 1,761 adults + juveniles and estimated the population visiting the area at 2,201 - 3,522 individuals.

CANADA, Ontario, James Bay, Hannah Bay, comprising 23,830 hectares, Ramsar site since 1987, (c51° 20' N, 79° 31' W). Three rivers fall into the bay, depositing silt that has created long shoals. At low tide the whole bay is one single, large flat: "In October 1985, there were 2,000 Dunlin at East Point in Hannah Bay Sanctuary." IBA mentions 1,500 from the autumn of 1940. (Dunlin flocks >500 are rare at these latitudes). Southern James Bay Migratory Bird Sanctuaries, IBA Site listing, Ramsar site designation 27 May 1987.

CANADA, Ontario, western side of S James Bay, south of Albany River estuary, Longridge Point, (c51° 45' N, 80°, 37' W), a ridge projecting 6 km into James bay, surrounded by intertidal flats "bulging out" on both sides: 750 Dunlin in autumn 1993. IBA Site listing.

CANADA, Québec, south shore of upper St. Lawrence estuary, Marais de Pointe-au-Père, (c48° 31' N, 68°, 28' W), a marsh area, flooded by tides: 3,000 Dunlin observed in the spring of 1986. IBA Site listing.

CANADA, Ontario, SW James Bay, Netishi Point (c51° 18' N, 80°, 07' W): "Dunlin also concentrate at this site, with the 1981 study recording a one-day count of 3,000 and a season-total of 8,500 (about 4 % of the estimated central Canadian population)." IBA Site listing.

CANADA, Ontario Presqu'il Provincial Park, freshwater mudflats on the north shore of Lake Ontario (c44° N, 77°, 58' W): 7,000 - 10,000 inds. counted on spring migration 1985 - 1995. IBA Site listing, Audubon Field Notes 1992 - 1997.

CANADA, Québec Saint-Vallier, a small bay (estuary of the Boyer river) with saltmarshes, intertidal mudflats on the south side of the St. Lawrence River (c46° 53' N, 70°, 51' W): 1,250 counted at unspecified time in 1988. IBA Site listing.

MEXICO, Laguna Madre, a "hyper saline" lagoon shared with USA (also see below). In a paper from 2002 in Biological Conservation the authors remark on the low number of Ramsar sites in Mexico: "With only seven designated sites, waterfowl and wetlands in Mexico are evidently under-represented in the list. We identify 34 currently undesignated sites in Mexico that qualify as wetlands of international importance, based on waterfowl count data from 1991-1997, using the Ramsar Convention criteria based on waterfowl." Three years later the Audubon homepage remarks, re Laguna Madre: " July 2005, the Mexican Government moved to conserve 1.4 million additional acres within its borders." The Annotated Ramsar List: Mexico.

USA, Dakota, the Missouri plain, the Dakota Potholes (c43° - 49° N, 95° - 105° W). Potholes are marshes, "palustrine systems", making up between 50 and 80 % of all wetland habitats in South Dakota Picture. There are (were) some 950,000 of them and they covered more than 2,100,000 acres in South Dakota; 60 % of the potholes have been drained in N. Dakota, 35 % in S. Dakota. There is also a narrow band of potholes in W. Minnesota, and on the Canadian side they continue northwards in Saskatchewan and Alberta. The only important inland staging area for Dunlin flying on an inland route to Canada in spring is this wetland area in the prairies. Reference.

USA, Texas, Laguna Madre (c27° 32' N 97° 18' W), a "hyper saline" lagoon shared with Mexico (see above). Conservation Plan for the Texas Portion of the Laguna Madre, Resource Database for Gulf of Mexico Research. Counted by Brent Ortego in the 2006 Texas Simultaneous Coastal Shorebird Survey: 66,110 Dunlin. Link to Texas Parks and Wildlife. A comment to the count on this site: Brent's results would appear to support the notion that our bays may be among the most important winter shorebird habitats in the nation if not the world.

USA, Maryland - Virginia, Barrier Islands (37° - c38° 30' N, 76° W): there are 18 of them, sand-bars with dunes, sheltering the mainland for some 100 kms. 83,000 Dunlin were counted here in spring 1994, the islands probably serving as high-tide roosts.

USA, Maryland - Virginia, Chesapeake Bay (37 - 40° N, c76° W). The bay is heavily burdened by sewage outlets and leakage from agriculture; the important horseshoe crab populations have decreased and their recovery is slow. There is a "Chesapeake Bay Cleanup" running since at least a decade now, but progress is slow: Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Stalls for Lack of Funding. At least Chesapeake Bay seems to be cleaner than ten years ago.

USA, Delaware - New Jersey, Delaware Bay Estuary (c39° 10' N, 75° 20' W): peak daily counts 2,474 (1989) - 11,245 (1992), average 5,870 ± 1,295 (May - June, 1986 - 1992, Clark, Niles & Burger 1993). Reference: "The northbound migration of shorebirds coincides with horseshoe crab spawning in the bay. Shorebirds have been found to feed mostly on horseshoe crab eggs on the bay beaches, but some species, such as the Semipalmated Sandpiper, Dunlin, and Short-billed Dowitcher, rely more heavily on marsh habitats.(...) Total birds counted on beaches in aerial surveys over the 6-week migration period range from 250,000 to over 600,000 (May through mid-June). Birds observed in tidal marsh habitats are estimated at 700,000, approximately two times that on bay beaches." Also see: Delaware Bay Shorebird-Horseshoe Crab Assessment Report and Peer Review, from USFWS, and

EAST PACIFIC FLYWAY (Calidris alpina pacifica.)

Waterbird Population Estimates, 4th ed. 2007; (one has to log in to get it) estimates this population at 550,000, unchanged since the 2002 estimate. Audubon Society states on its homepage: Christmas Bird Count data from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s indicates a decline in Dunlin wintering on the Pacific coast, as well as a decline in the Arctic subspecies on its breeding territory.

CANADA, British Columbia, Port Simpson, Big Bay - Delusion Bay (c54° 22' N, 130° 29' W), intertidal flats from E of Port Simpson to the south point of Digby Island: 3,600 pacifica recorded in winter 1977. IBA Site listing.

CANADA, British Columbia, the Fraser delta, Vancouver Ladner (c49° N, 122° W), within sight of Vancouver, in the delta proper: The 103d Christmas Bird Count (2002/2003) 84,773; The 104th Christmas Bird Count (2003/04) 79,507. (Reference 1, Reference 2). The site was declared a "Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network Site of Hemispheric Importance" (...) in a ceremony on 29 April 2005.

CANADA, British Columbia, Boundary Bay-Roberts Bank-Sturgeon Bank ("Fraser delta") (c49° 09' N, 123° 07' W), saltmarshes and intertidal flats, just north of the US border, the designated IBA spanning some 400 km2: maximum count in spring 1988: 126,285, in autumn 1976-88: 50,000-97,481, in winter 1976-95: 29,000-92,805. Boundary Bay, Roberts Bank and Sturgeon Bank form one of the richest and most important ecosystems for migrant and wintering waterbirds in Canada. The most numerous species found here is the Western Sandpiper there are one-day estimates of at least 500,000 during spring migration.(...)Dunlin occur in impressive numbers; one-day counts in the spring represent about 10% of the ssp. pacifica population, and 8% of the North American population. IBA Site listing. A photo of Boundary Bay in April 2003.

MEXICO: Baja California Sur, Guerrero Negro (27° 42' N, 113° 56' W): 34,304 (January 1994), (Page et al. 1997). "Of the estimated 354,905 wintering shorebirds in wetlands along the west coast of Baja(...), 11.0% were Dunlins..."

USA, Alaska, delta of Copper River Copper, Cordoba, Orca Inlet, (c60° 32' N, 145° 42'W): Reference: "During the 1992 season as many as 1.1 million shorebirds have been observed at one time using the Copper River Delta during the peak migration (April 25 - May 15)." The tidal amplitude of the firths in the Orca inlet is 5 m; intertidal flats and suitable resting-grounds are rare in the marine area proper.

USA, Alaska, SE of the estuary of Bering river, Controller Bay (60° 30' N, 145° 00'W), a shallow bay with intertidal flats and high-tide roost on Kunak Island that spans the Bering river estuary. A lot of small streams flow downhill from the Bering glacier to the bay. It was named by Cook in 1778, the first oilfields of Alaska developed in the area after 1902; the oil-town Katalla on the west side had a minor refinery till 1933. The Audubon website states "Dunlin also illustrate the importance of protecting areas outside migratory stopover locations. The Copper River Delta, just outside Cordova, Alaska, hosts millions of shorebirds in the spring. This delta is largely protected by Alaska as both a “shorebird reserve unit” and a “critical habitat area.” As Dunlin arrive in Alaska, they stage just outside the protected lands, along Controller Bay. An estimated 25% of all shorebird migrants first set down along this bay." Also see Senner et al. 1982.

USA, Alaska, Yakutat Forelands, Seal Creek-Ahrnklin River estuary (58° 48' - 59° 30' N, 138° 00' - 139° 50' W) . "Annual number of individuals" with rate of turnover discussed: 48,794 (spring 1994), 45,574 (spring 1995); Andres & Brown 1998.

USA, California, South San Francisco Bay, the bay has two parts; one "south", one "north". In the South Bay 5000 hectares of saltponds have been acquired by state and federal wildlife agencies and are gradually being restored for the benefit of waterbirds. Predicting the effects of habitat change on South San Francisco Bay bird communities: An analysis of bird-habitat relationships and evaluation of potential restoration scenarios. PRBO Report, the density of Dunlin in tidal marshes 0.054 ± 0.236 birds/hectare, in salt ponds 6.90 ± 31.94 (max. 387) birds/hectare. The main attraction is from salt ponds. Site profile from Audubon, i read here that Dunlin numbers are "estimated to exceed 10% of their global populations (Page and Shuford 2000)" (this must bear upon subspecies pacifica).

USA, California, Point Reyes, Tomales Bay (c38° 08' N, 122° 53' W), a narrow, firth-like bay with estuaries, intertidal flats. Average of winter counts 1989 - 1999: early winter 6,200, peak count 12,762, late winter 1,735, peak count 6,951. Distribution and abundance of winter shorebirds on Tomales Bay, California: implications for conservation, from Western Birds, 2001. Map of Tomales Bay State Park.

USA, Washington, Hoquiam, Grays Harbor (c46° 59' N, 123° 57' W) : 55,865. (103rd Christmas Bird Count), 62,125. (105th Christmas Bird Count). Only Laguna Madre/Texas equals this US site in midwinter, and two different flyways are involved. Reference: "Grays Harbor Estuary is one of four major staging areas for shorebirds in North America and one of the largest concentrations of shorebirds on the west coast, south of Alaska." And from another source: "Each spring, over 1 million shorebirds (principally Western Sandpipers Calidris mauri) pass through the Grays Harbor area".

Last additions 28.8.08 (185 linked sites), proof-read 28.8.08, links checked and corrected 19.1.08.