Tuesday 29 January 2013

Wader Quest species seen nº 2: Common Redshank

Common Redshank Tringa totanus

Captive bird:  Slimbridge WWT, Gloucestershire, England.

1st November 2012. Titchwell RSPB reserve, Norfolk England. (Also seen: Thailand; UAE;)

There were a couple of these on the freshmarsh, but we saw many more on the beach.

A Eurasian species with six subspecies recognised: robusta; totanus; ussuriensis; terrignotae; craggi; eurhinus.

The birds we saw could have been robusta which breeds in Iceland and the Faeroes and winter in the UK or totanus which breeds in the UK but largely winters in the Mediterranean region. Those we saw in Thailand were probably of the terrignotae subspecies and in the UAE ussuriensis.

This bird has an extremely large range, its population appears to be stable overall but that European population has decline slightly. The population is estimated at between 960K and 2.6 million individuals.

As ever the bird is however under threat from loss of breeding and wintering habitats due to agricultural changes, drainage, loss of mudflats due to reclamation and barrages. It also suffer badly in cold weather such as that we have been experincing in the UK lately. I remember one very cold snap in the 1980s when I found many dead Common Redshank walking  the marsh edge along Blakeney Point in freezing conditions.

Titchwell RSPB reserve, Norfolk England.

Titchwell RSPB reserve, Norfolk, England. 
Cley Marsh, Norfolk England.
Lam Pak Bia, Petchaburi, Thailand.
In captivity WWT slimbridge, Gloucestershire, England.

For more information on Common Redshank see:

Birdlife International species factsheet:

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