What is this wader I saw in Shrop­shire?

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View -

I won­der if you could help with the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of this wader seen at Venus Pool, Shrop­shire. It was on an is­land with ducks, geese and Lap­wings and seemed very ner­vous of them. At first, I thought it might be a Green­shank, based on the amount of white, size and leg colour but the beak is wrong. It seems to be too big for a Sanderling and doesn’t have black legs. It’s prob­a­bly too big for a Curlew Sand­piper with a too-short bill and again, no black legs. Knot re­mains a pos­si­bil­ity, but it would be a rar­ity in Shrop­shire. Robert Parker, Shrop­shire

QWaders can be tricky to ID at the best of times, and this one is no ex­cep­tion. This bird does seem to have some of the fea­tures of Green­shank, Curlew Sand­piper and Sanderling, but as you say, there are enough dif­fer­ences to each species to count them out. We’re go­ing to stick our necks out on this one, and say that it is in fact your Shrop­shire rar­ity, a Knot. The size and shape is about right; par­tic­u­larly the small­ish head; as is the col­oration. Knots are no­table among calidrid sand­pipers in not hav­ing black legs; their legs are pale greeny-yel­low. So, this adds fur­ther weight to the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion. How­ever, as al­ways, if there are any wader ex­perts out there who dis­agree, please get in touch!


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