Redshanks

Redshanks must be one of the most annoying birds for British birdwatchers. They are beautiful, active, entertaining to watch and have great coloured legs and bills. What’s the catch?

The problem is that they almost always see you before you see them, then they fly up and give a piercing alarm call which warns every other species around of your presence.

Here’s a rare opportunity I had to see one pottering on its long red legs in the Bay of Swartmill:

Redshank - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

The Orcadian dialect name for the Redshank is the Watery Pleeps which always makes me chuckle.

Redshank - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

They are very elegant, unlike their dialect name.

Redshank - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

How did I manage to get such a good view of it without it flying off and alarming all the rest of the birds? It’s because I was in the car and stopped on the road with my camera out of the window. My car is a mobile bird hide.

Redshank - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It didn’t fool it for long.

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