Your Bird­ing Month

Bird Watching (UK) - - Contents -

Birds to find this month in­clude Lit­tle Stint, Sooty Shear­wa­ter and Wry­neck

The Black-winged Stilt is one of those birds which has taken avian mor­phol­ogy to ex­tremes, yet some­how has thrived. Its legs are out­ra­geously long, its bill, al­most nee­dle-thin. It is the ul­ti­mate gawky yet grace­ful wader, and it is found just about all over the world, in one form or an­other. There is dis­agree­ment among tax­onomists about how many black-and-white stilt species or sub­species there are, but what­ever you call them, they are found across Eura­sia, in North and South Amer­ica and Aus­trala­sia, in­clud­ing New Zealand, as well as Hawaii. Many Bri­tish bird­ers saw their first stilts on hol­i­day vis­its to the warmer parts of the con­ti­nent, where they are com­mon in a va­ri­ety of wet­land habi­tats, and are about as easy to iden­tify as any Euro­pean bird. But, now they are just about sneak­ing into the UK as a breed­ing bird. Sev­eral pairs have laid eggs and at­tempted to raise young at sites across the UK, this year. This fol­lowed a cou­ple of in­stances of suc­cess­ful breed­ing in 2014. How many of this year’s crop of young­sters will still be around this month, we can only spec­u­late. But, per­haps they will be the van­guard of a true coloni­sa­tion of the UK by these won­der­ful waders.

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