Calendar Birds for May

The birds featured on the Beeston Birdman wildlife calendar for May are both waders, the common sandpiper and the avocet. The picture of the common sandpiper (left) was taken from the Sandmartin Hide at ANR and I photographed the avocet in Norfolk, probably at Cley Marsh.

The common sandpiper is a smallish wader with grey/brown plumage and white underparts which come to a distinct point forward of the wings. The 3rd image is of a green sandpiper which lacks that feature for comparison. Common sandpipers habitually bob up and down, known as ‘teetering’ and can be seen throughout the UK in rivers and lakes etc.

The avocet is a distinctively-patterned black and white wader with a long up-curved beak which it uses to gather food from the water’s surface. The lower images of youngster already has the curved bill but yet to achieve the slender size of the adult bird. This smart bird was extinct in the UK for the first decades of the last century but it began to return in the 1940’s possibly because its preferred coastal environment was out of bounds to most people during WW2.

The avocet is the emblem of the RSPB which symbolises the bird protection movement in the UK more than any other species and represents one of the most successful conservation and wildlife protection projects.

Finally, here is Beeston Birdman’s latest article for the Beeston edition of Nottingham Local News. Enjoy your bank holiday weekend and why not try something WILD for a change.

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