Your Birding Month
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.