Thursday, 11 August 2011

Local Spotted Redshanks

On Tuesday of this week (9th) 3 Spotted Redshanks called in at Rainton Meadows for about 3 minutes! Unsurprisingly John Bridges was in the hide and managed some brilliant shots before they eventually flew off and never returned. Nice find John, your persistence is paying off big style.

Some ID tips on comments under each photo for those who are interested, if your not then just enjoy the pictures. All photos © John Bridges:

 Spotted Redshanks show no white in the secondaries at any age whereas Common Redshanks at all ages show this feature, in Common Redshanks the white secondaries also extend onto the inner primaries. Spotted Redshank more of a "cigar" shaped marking on the back in flight where as on Common Redshank it is more like a wedge shape being quite broad based where the tail begins.

 Spotted Redshanks are strongly barred on the hind section of the underbody (toward vent) in adult summer plumage and juvenile birds, Common Redshanks lack this strong barring at all ages. These birds are juveniles and at this age they are strongly barred all over the underbody.

Spotted Redshanks show a strong supercilium in front of the eye in juvenile and adult winter plumages, it can extend slightly behind the eye aswell but this feature varies between individuals. If the two species are side by side the long bill on Spotted Redshank is really noticeable even at great distance. Finally Spotted Redshanks tend to look bigger and more robust in the field compared to the delicate look of Common Redshanks.

 Common Redshank; delicate short bill, more compact and looks more delicate, supercilium varies between individuals but this bird seems to lack one.

Common Redshank showing the white on secondaries that extend onto inner primaries.

I love Spotted Redshanks; still not caught up with one in the County yet this year. But hopefully still plenty of time to see one yet.

Until next time, Foghorn out!

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