Spotted Redshank

Spotted Redshank
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus is a wader in the large bird family Scolopacidae, the typical waders. It is an Arctic bird, breeding across northern Scandinavia and northern Asia. It is a migratory species, wintering around the Mediterranean, the southern British Isles, France, tropical Africa, and tropical Asia, usually on fresh or brackish water. It is an occasional vagrant in Australia and North America.
It is 29–33 cm long. It is black in breeding plumage, and very pale in winter. It has a red legs and bill, and shows a white oval on the back in flight. Juveniles are grey-brown finely speckled white above, and have pale, finely barred underparts. It nests on open boggy taiga, laying four eggs in a ground scrape. The call is a creaking whistle teu-it (somewhat similar to the call of a Roseate Tern), the alarm call a kyip-kyip-kyip. Like most waders, it feeds on small invertebrates.
The Spotted Redshank is replaced as a breeding bird further south by the Common Redshank, which has a shorter bill and legs, and is brown and white above with some dark patterning below, becoming somewhat lighter-toned in winter.
Taxonomically, it forms a close-knit group with the Greater Yellowlegs and the Greenshank, which among them show all the basic leg and foot colours of the shanks, demonstrating that this character is paraphyletic (Pereira & Baker, 2005). These three species are the largest shanks apart from the Willet, which is altogether more robustly built.
The Spotted Redshank is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

From The RSPB: 
The spotted redshank is a medium sized elegant wading bird, slightly larger than a redshank. In summer plumage the adults are almost entirely black, save for some white `spotting' on the wings, a white `wedge' on the back showing clearly in flight, and a barred tail. In winter they have a grey back, and paler under parts, with a more prominent eye stripe than a redshank and lacking a redshank's white wing bars. They migrate from northern European across and northern Siberian breeding areas, to winter in Europe, Africa, China and South-east Asia. They are a relatively scarce wintering species in the UK, with over half the population found at fewer than ten sites, making them an Amber List species.

Where to see them
In winter on coastal wetland sites, especially in North Kent and Essex, Hampshire and West Wales.

When to see them
Southward migration takes place in July and August with most birds passing through the UK in September. Wintering birds remain until April and May.

What they eat
Insect larvae, shrimps and worms