Redshank? To Be or Not To Be

Hey there folks,

My wife and I just returned from a visit to Norfolk and in particular the NWT reserve at Hickling Broad. Whilst there we spotted this bird fly in and sit in an area of the scrape devoid of any good light!

With that, we're struggling to get a clear identification on it unfortunately. We're not convinced that this is a common or garden Redshank as the legs look far too long with lower knee joints than normal.

We were possibly coming round to thinking that maybe this was a Spotted Redshank perhaps or even maybe a variant of a Ruff? The light was poor and this is the best I could come up with and I think we've discounted Greenshank on the basis of lighting on the legs (although NWT photographer in the same hide seemed to think Greenshank).

Anyways, we thought we'd check with you good people - any ideas folks?

Much appreciated for the help



  • Allowing for the angle the bird is facing, the beak looks to me to be long and straight. A ruff would have a shorter and very slightly downturned beak, and a greenshank would have a slightly upturned beak. Also the legs do look reddish, which rules out greenshank as well.

    That leaves either redshank or spotted redshank and this is where the light makes it a bit tricky. Spotted redshank tend to go dark in the summer, and this bird doesn't look that dark, so I am leaning towards redshank but others may disagree.