Spotted Redshank

They look a lot easier in the field guide!

Plenty of shorebirds/ waders around. Last few days the main feature of visible migration past the caravan are these pied stunners. Presumably these are heading south, from more northerly breeding grounds such as Scandinavia and Iceland. While their plumage and call is familiar enough. Close inspection reveals a stunningly beautiful species – not to be taken for granted.


I was momentarily thrown today by a tringa wader. Bunched up in a group of roosting waders, head tucked in, often largely obscured. Dang! They don’t look like that in the field guide!

In fact I think it’s quite fun and certainly educational to occasionally encounter those waders which you can only see bits of . You think it looks like something different. You might even suspect the identification – but you’re not sure. Can you see enough features to nail it?

Today’s species was the same as the pale bird on the right here (photographed same place, this time last year) – another whose identity had to be teased out:

Left Redshank, centre, Bar-tailed Godwit, right, ‘Nice bird’ – It’s the large pale grey  and white one on the right. It’s a moulting adult….thingy.

And here’s today’s bird: Looks so much easier now in nice photo in which its body is all visible! Can you see it?

and another juvenile  ‘tringa’ which flew in to join the throng- a juvenile Greenshank:

Probably much quicker than me you realised the pale grey wader (on the right) in the top picture was a moulting adult Spotted Redshank. And (in the next photo) the bird toward the left with the fine wavy barring along the flanks is a juvenile Spotted Redshank – from today.

So here’s one for you

This took me a little longer to nail it. It’s he pale grey bird in the middle (photo below). This is how it looked for a very long time – head never raised. Part of body and legs obscured. turns out when did see it with ‘field guide’ views- we had already come to the correct identification. I think it CAN be identified on these views alone. Have a go!

BTW it was taken on 3rd August 2009 from Chalk Bank Hide, Spurn, East Yorkshire.

4 thoughts on “Spotted Redshank

    1. Martin Garner

      Hi Pim

      Was a Curlew Sandpiper – bit tricky as in ‘winter’ (I guess 2nd cal. year bird) plumage in early August. I had the advantage of field views and not just looking at my bad photos as you have.

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