Redshank (Tringa totanus)
The Redshank has a straight, black-tipped red bill and red legs, as the common name suggests. It has a marbled-brown back and a white, black-spotted underbelly. The males and females are similar, and the juveniles have yellow-brown legs. Length 27 to 29cm.
To feed they probe mud and sand with their medium-sized bill for molluscs, worms and crustaceans. The nest in a hollow in the ground often with a grass canopy formed above it where the female lays 4 eggs in 1 brood from April to July. They can live for up to 10 years.
They breed in saltmarshes, wet pastures, marshes and near lakes, but during the winter on the coast on estuaries and lagoons. They maybe observed all year round.
Widespread and frequent on many coastlines, with up to almost 40,000 breeding UK pairs, and 120,000 wintering birds in the UK. The RSPB has given the Redshank an amber status due to declining numbers due to loss of salt-marsh habitats, and in areas where farmland is drained.
Photographs of Redshank (Tringa totanus), taken April 2013, Llandudno, Wales. © Pete Hillman 2013. Camera used Nikon Coolpix P500.