What is this wader I saw in Shropshire?
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!