Martin Garner has sent me some images of a very interesting Eurasian Curlew at Spurn on 25th July – three of them can be seen at the links below. He was ‘immediately struck by the fine pencil lines on the flanks’, though not all the flank area visble, ‘but nevertheless no other Curlew like this seen in the area’. This is coupled with a ‘pale-fronted feel to the bird’, with the background colour on the face and most of the underparts virtually white, with a pale cream wash on the breast.
Also, ‘in flight three further features can be clearly seen in the photos and
helpfully right next to a more normal 'western bird':
clean white underwing coverts and axillaries (latter visible);
less barring on tail and bars a touch thinner and darker than the accompanying
no moult of primaries and secondaries.’
Martin feels that ‘this combination seems to fit 'suschkini ' (see latest Chandler book on waders) or (which is what I would have called It) 'western orientalis'’ well. In addition ‘it fits Chandlers.. "plumage of orientalis (and moult) with size and bill of arquata"’. BWP states that orientalis moults later than arquata, and the difference can clearly be seen in the two flight images.
standing - http://surfbirds.com/albums/showfull.php?photo=8302
flight - http://surfbirds.com/albums/showfull.php?photo=8303
flight - http://surfbirds.com/albums/showfull.php?photo=8304
Would anybody like to comment on the images?