The Third Ladybird Book of British Birds – #2 The Redshank

I’m currently reading the third volume of the Ladybird Book of British Birds and their nests from the 1950s. I’ve been through the other two volumes in previous posts and had a wonderful time seeing what’s changed in childhood, the natural world and popular culture in that time.

The Third Ladybird Book of British Birds-7476

Today I turn to the pages on the Redshank. It says: ‘The Redshank is sometimes known as “The Warden of the Marshes”. This indicates the kind of country in which Redshanks normally live, and also implies that they are very nervous and wide awake, warning all other birds around them with their high, musical whistle, as soon as a human being appears.’

That’s still just as true, although I’ve never heard the Warden of the Marshes name before. It suits it well.

Redshank - Ladybird Book of British Birds


They are fabulously elegant birds, assuming you can see them before they see you:

Redshank - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)
A Redshank auditioning for the Ministry of Silly Walks


The State of the UK’s Birds 2017 report says Redshanks declined by 38% from 1995 to 2015. That’s a lot of wildlife to lose.


We are all poorer because of the deaths of both our wildlife and our wild life.

Redshank haven’t changed: ‘Their high, musical whistle, as soon as a human being appears’, is just as insistent now as it was in the 1950s.

Birds at the Peedie Sea - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)


And my best photographs of them are always of them flying away.

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