Sunday, February 04, 2007

Funeral suits and yellow stockings

I've been meaning to post about these two waders for a while and since I don't seem to be getting better photos after a few attempts, now's the time. The locals call this a funeral bird on account of its black and white attire, the guide books call them black-necked stilts. At the moment I'm calling them a few expletives because they are rather noisy and rather flighty and these two characteristics are flushing the ducks I'm trying to creep up on at my new photography spot.


Luckily their rather raucous behaviour (which would be out of place at most funerals except possibly the one in that Scrubs episode with "tasty coma wife") more than makes up for this minor inconvenience by being immensely entertaining. They seem to be lovers and fighters of the highest order. These chaps are the wader I see most often on the wetlands here together with the two varieties of yellow legs. I wrote ages ago about the redshank, a Tringa wader named for its brighly coloured legs (aka shanks), I used to see regularly at London Wetland Centre, as you can imagine I was delighted to find a different coloured version on this side of the pond.


The lesserlegs was the second of the two american waders I dipped in the UK on my one and only semi-twitch. Together with the dowitchers I saw on the CBC I've since nailed them both down where they should be not windswept and bedraggled across the atlantic.

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