Nairn is lucky enough to be visited each winter by thousands of Dunlin. They, along with the Knot, give fantastic flying displays over at the Old Bar, and even better when they do it at beach by the harbour.
I took the picture above earlier this year. Most of these birds will now be further north in Scotland and the Isles, as well as even further afield in the tundra. Once the breeding season is over the survivors will return to our shores. But if you keep a look out around our coastline in late April / early May, you might be lucky enough to see the Dunlin in full breeding plumage.
Kate took the picture below in Lossie Estuary a couple of weeks ago. The contrast between this and its winter clothes is stark! In winter it is a dull whitish grey and very hard to distinguish from a Knot - unless they are standing side by side. (The smaller size and slight curve of the bill is the give-away.) In the summer though, it has a distinctive black belly to stand out a mile. And the Knot in the summer is fantastic - if ever I manage to get a pic I will post it and show you the differences.