Bird Watching (UK) - - Uk Bird Sightings -

MORE INFO It’s pretty hard to con­fuse a Black-winged Stilt with any­thing else, even at long range. If the pied plumage isn’t enough of a give­away, then the ex­traor­di­nar­ily long legs, in re­la­tion to its over­all size, will clinch the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion. It’s gen­er­ally found in coastal habi­tats, al­though it will use fresh­wa­ter la­goons just in­land as well as salt­wa­ter and brack­ish pools. Calls in­clude a ‘kek’ that sounds rather like a Coot, and harsher, more var­ied calls, not un­like terns’ calls. Most mi­grate south to Africa in the win­ter, but a few re­main close to their Mediter­ranean breed­ing grounds. The salt­pans at Al­bufera are un­doubt­edly the best spot for good, ex­tended views of this ex­tra­or­di­nary bird, but, as is the case for many waders, it de­pends on food avail­abil­ity and weather con­di­tions. Wide­spread but rel­a­tively thinly scat­tered in south­ern Europe and parts of western and north­ern France. Small num­bers turn up in Bri­tain each year, with sev­eral re­cent suc­cess­ful nest­ing at­tempts in Kent and Sus­sex, per­haps herald­ing a coloni­sa­tion. There are up to seven sub­species of Black-winged Stilt, in­clud­ing the Hawai­ian Stilt, the ar­chi­pel­ago’s only breed­ing wader. Some au­thor­i­ties recog­nise some of these sub­species as up to five dis­tinct full species †Long straight bill, un­like Av­o­cet’s up­turned bill †Some black on head in sum­mer, whiter in win­ter

†Black (ac­tu­ally green-black) wings, white else­where, with long white V up back

†Slen­der, el­e­gant build †Of­ten wades belly-deep in search of food †Very long, bright red-pink legs Al­bufera Salt Marsh

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