British wildlife recordings
Tringa nebularia : Greenshank - Scolopacidae; Tringa totanus : Redshank - Scolopacidae
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Kingsbridge, Devon: OS Grid Reference(273500,44500)
Greenshank, Tringa nebularia & Redshank, Tringa totanus
A group of greenshanks and redshanks calling, recorded at an estuary site in England. On seeing a greenshank for the very first time, it’s easy to understand how this medium sized bird obtained its name. Its long green legs make ideal tools for wading through the boggy moorland and peatland pools of northern and western Scotland during the summer months. As autumn approaches, many of these birds can be seen along coastal areas of the UK such as lagoons and estuaries as they begin the long journey to wintering grounds in Africa. Those that choose to see out the winter months in Britain, head for estuary sites along the coasts of southwest England, Wales, west Scotland and parts of Ireland. It uses its long bill to sweep through the water collecting invertebrates or to gently pick out other prey items such as worms and fish. The greenshank is quite the chatterbox, regularly producing its ringing ‘tew tew tew ‘call. Redshanks are one of the most widespread wading birds to be found along coastal regions. During the breeding season they move further inland to wet grassland areas but can still be found on coastal saltmarshes, searching for invertebrates with their long straight bills. The winter months are spent in southern Ireland and southwest England on sites rich in prey. This red-legged bird has an extremely nervous nature and will alert all other wildlife to the presence of an intruder with its ‘tew-hoo-hoo’ alarm call. During display fighting in spring it produces a yodelling ‘tu-udle tu-udle’.