New birds for me in Europe – Some waders

My European stay continues to be a wonderful adventure, and recent trips to various locations in Provence, France, have allowed me to see new species.  Here’s a quick run-down of waders that I have been able to add in the last few weeks, mostly from the Camargue region.   None of them is a really rare bird, but many of them bear comparison with similar species in Costa Rica, and several of them are quite beautiful.

Black-winged stilt

Black-winged stilt

Our Black-necked stilt

1.  Black-winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus)

Similar to our Black-necked stilt (Himantopus mexicanus)

2.  Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)

Avocet at the Camargue

Avocet at the Camargue

The corresponding species is the American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana)

3.  Ringed plover (Charadrius hiaticula) and Little ringed plover (Charadrius dubius)

Ringed plover

Ringed plover

In the Americas there are several small, confusing plovers of the kind that make quick little runs across sandy beaches and mudflats.  It’s a bit easier in Europe, where the main problem is distinguishing these two.  The Little ringed plover, however, has no wing-bar in flight and its legs are much paler than the yellow of the Ringed plover.

Little ringed plover in spring plumage

Little ringed plover in spring plumage

4.  Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)

Kentish plover

Kentish plover

The incomplete neck ring (even in breeding plumage) and pale appearance make this one a little easier to identify.

5.  Dotterel (Eudromias morinellus)

What a lovely bird!  We saw small flocks of up to twenty on the stony wastes of La Crau, a very distinctive and beautiful habitat near the Rhone delta.

Dotterel at La Cau, August 2013

Dotterel at La Cau, August 2013

6.  Curlew sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)

The white rump in flight and the down-curved bill make this one easy to distinguish, even when not in its ‘ferruginous’ summer plumage, like the bird on the right here.

Curlew sandpipers

Curlew sandpipers

7.  Little stint (Caladris minuta)

In America, there are numerous species of ‘peeps’, making identification extremely difficult.  In Western Europe, a tiny peep is almost always this species.  Next size up is the Dunlin!

074 Least sandpiper Web(1)

Least sandpiper, our smallest American peep

Little stint

Little stint

8.  Spotted redshank (Tringa erythropus)

A darker (and in summer all-black) version of the Redshank.  These and the Greenshank seem to be the European versions of our Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, but with legs of a different colour, obviously!

Spotted redshank with its long bill and dark wings

Spotted redshank with its long bill and dark wings

9.  Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)

Compare this one with the Redshank.

Greenshank

Greenshank

Redshank Polder Groot Mijdrecht Mai (6)Web

Redshank in spring plumage in Holland

10.  Common sandpiper (Tringa hypoleucus)

The counterpart of our Spotted sandpiper.  Its flight and behaviour give it away rather easily.  No spots, however!

Common sandpiper in breeding plumage

Common sandpiper in breeding plumage

11.  Wood sandpiper (Tringa glareola) and Green sandpiper (Tringa ochropus)

Green sandpiper

Green sandpiper

Wood sandpiper

Wood sandpiper

12.  Curlew (Numenius arquata) and Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)

Both slightly different species to those in the New World.

Curlew, Texel, Holland

Curlew, Texel, Holland

13.  Stone curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus)

A fantastic bird to see up close with its yellow eye seeming to stare at you.  Our equivalent is the Double-striped thicknee (Burhinus bistriatus), whose picture must, for the moment, stand alone.  We had a good look at the Stone curlew on the stony waste of La Crau, but there was no chance of a photo.

Double-striped thicknee

Double-striped thicknee

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3 thoughts on “New birds for me in Europe – Some waders

  1. Pingback: Day 28 – 11.18.13 | wenditsworld

  2. Pingback: Curlew Sandpiper - Wildlife Blog

  3. Pingback: Genetic variability in the Eurasian Stone-curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus) | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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