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Conservation status: Amber

A long-billed, long-legged wading bird which visits UK shores for the winter. Most usually seen in its grey-brown winter plumage, birds in spring may show their full rich chestnut breeding plumage. In flight it shows a white patch stretching from the rump up the back, narrowing to a point. It breeds in the Arctic of Scandinavia and Siberia and hundreds of thousands of them pass through the UK, on their way further south, or stop off here for the winter.



Latin name

Limosa lapponica


Sandpipers and allies (Scolopacidae)

Where to see them

Largest numbers occur on large estuaries - the Wash, Thames, Ribble, Dee, Humber, Solway and Forth estuaries, and Lough Foyle for example.

When to see them

Highest numbers are seen here between November and February, with numbers starting to build in July and August and falling off in March and April. Small numbers of non-breeding birds can be seen throughout the summer.

What they eat

Worms, snails and insects.


EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
--41,000 birds-



In the UK
Most coastlines
In Europe
Scandinavia and coasts of western Europe
Europe, Asia, Africa, Asia and N America


Patrik Aberg, Xeno-canto

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