Curlew Sandpiper non chalantly walking by, Alibaug

The curlew sandpiper is a small wader that breeds on the tundra of Arctic Siberia. The genus name is from Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, a term used by Aristotle for some grey-coloured waterside birds. These birds are small waders, having a longer down-curved bill, longer neck and legs and a white rump. The breeding adult has patterned dark grey upperparts and brick-red underparts. In winter, this bird is pale grey above and white below, and shows an obvious white supercilium. Juveniles have a grey and brown back, a white belly and a peach-coloured breast. Of all shorebird species, the curlew sandpiper has the smallest breeding range in relation to its non-breeding range. After breeding these birds migrate south to Africa, Australasia or India. South Africa is at the southern limit of the migration path from Siberia, 15,000 km (9,300 mi) or 130° of latitude away. This wader is highly gregarious, and will form flocks with other calidrid waders, particularly dunlin. Despite its easterly breeding range, this species is regular on passage in western Europe, presumably because of the southwesterly migration route. This species is classified as Near Threatened by IUCN.

Little stint non breeding plummage, Alibaug

The little stint, is a very small wader. It breeds in arctic Europe and Asia, and is a long-distance migrant, wintering south to Africa and south Asia. It occasionally is a vagrant to North America and to Australia. The genus name is from Ancient Greek kalidris or skalidris, a term used by Aristotle for some grey-coloured waterside birds. The specific minuta is Latin for “small”. Its small size, fine dark bill, dark legs and quicker movements distinguish this species from all waders except the other dark-legged stints. It can be distinguished from these in all plumages by its combination of a fine bill tip, unwebbed toes and long primary projection. This species is classified as Least Concern by IUCN.

Pacific Golden Plover calling, Alibaug

The Pacific golden plover (Pluvialis fulva) is a medium-sized plover. The genus name is Latin and means relating to rain, from pluvia, “rain”. It was believed that golden plovers flocked when rain was imminent. The 23–26 cm long breeding adult is spotted gold and black on the crown, and back on the wings. Its face and neck are black with a white border, and it has a black breast and a dark rump. The legs are black. In winter, the black is lost and the plover then has a yellowish face and breast, and white underparts. This wader forages for food on tundra, fields, beaches and tidal flats, usually by sight. It eats insects and crustaceans and some berries. The breeding habitat of Pacific golden plover is the Arctic tundra from northernmost Asia into western Alaska. It nests on the ground in a dry open area. It is migratory and winters in south Asia and Australasia. A few winter in California and Hawaii, USA. In Hawaii, the bird is known as the kōlea. They return to the same wintering territory each year, which allowed scientists in Hawaii to attach tiny light level geolocator devices to the birds and then retrieve […]

Ruddy turnstone – looking for titbits under plastic, Alibaug

The ruddy turnstone is a small wading bird, one of two species of turnstone in the genus Arenaria. It is now classified in the sandpiper family Scolopacidae but was formerly sometimes placed in the plover family Charadriidae. It is a highly migratory bird, breeding in northern parts of Eurasia and North America and flying south to winter on coastlines almost worldwide. It is the only species of turnstone in much of its range and is often known simply as turnstone. In all seasons, the plumage is dominated by a harlequin-like pattern of black and white. Breeding birds have reddish-brown upper parts with black markings. The head is mainly white with black streaks on the crown and a black pattern on the face. The breast is mainly black apart from a white patch on the sides. Non-breeding adults are duller than breeding birds and have dark grey-brown upperparts with black mottling and a dark head with little white. The ruddy turnstone breeds in northern latitudes, usually no more than a few kilometres from the sea. The ruddy turnstone has a varied diet including carrion, eggs and plant material but it feeds mainly on invertebrates. Insects. It often flips over stones and […]
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