The Dunlin (Scientific name - Calidris alpina) is one of the most abundant shorebirds of North America. These birds breed in the Arctic and Sub Arctic. The ones that breed in North America migrate to the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts. The ones that breed in Northern Europe and Asia migrate long distances to Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Some that breed in Alaska also migrate to Asia.
The ones pictured here are sporting the drab winter colours. During breeding the adults have a more chestnut red back and a large black patch on their belly.
These were photographed on New Year's Day 2011 at Iona Beach Regional Park in Richmond, B.C.
While wintering they gather in extremely large flocks and seem to swarm along the water's edge (as in the bottom photo).