Waders and River Birds

Curlew

Curlew

Numenius arquata

The curlew is the largest European wading bird, instantly recognisable on winter estuaries or summer moors with its long down-curved bill, brown upperparts and long legs. There have been worrying breeding declines in many areas largely due to loss of habi...

Kingfisher

Kingfisher

Alcedo atthis

Kingfishers are shy birds, but unmistakable if fortunate to be seen. Male and female are similar in size and colouring (bright blue and orange). They inhabit slow-moving or still water lowland habitats in Scotland and as their name suggest feed on small f...

Grey heron

Grey heron

Ardea cinerea

The largest European heron. It can stand with neck stretched out, looking for food, or hunch down with its neck bent over its chest. In flight it holds its neck retracted and has large rounded wings. It is usually solitary although several birds may fe...

Dipper

Dipper

Cinclus cinclus

The dipper is so-called because of its behaviour of dipping in and out of the water as well as its ‘bobbing’ action. It lives alongside fast-flowing shallow streams and rivers and often nests under bridges and in walls. This small stocky bird with ...

Oystercatcher

Oystercatcher

Haematopus ostralegus

You can't mistake an oystercatcher. They are distinctive and vocal birds. Both sexes of this wading bird are similar, having predominantly black plumage with a white underbelly. In flight you also see a white bar along the upper wing. It has a very dist...

Red necked phalarope

Red necked phalarope

Phalaropus lobatus

These small, delicate waders are adapted well to spending a lot of time on water. Unlike other waders, phalaropes have lobed toes which enable them to swim strongly when on pools or out at sea. They spend most of their time in the water but can equally...