Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)

Mature adult male Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) at Laguna Navaseca, Spain - April 2016

Local Name (Spain): Ciguëñuela ("Stilt")
Weight: 180g
Length: 38cm
Wingspan: 75cm
NO UK STATUS / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

Personally, I would consider the Black-winged stilt one of the most striking looking species in Europe - it has by far the longest leg-body ratio of any species found on the continent, and in bright pink too.  It can be found regularly as near as Northern France, but remains a vagrant in the UK, although I caught a glimpse of a flock when I visited El Rocio in Spain.  These birds were seen during an influx of the species into the UK, where a number of them were scattered around the Southern half of England at once.  Slightly frustratingly, the views here were distant, while if I had been at home, some great views were being had by people at the hides of Summerleys at fairly close range.  However, it is a stunning species either way.

Related Species:
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Recurvirostridae
Genus: Himantopus
Subspecies: None - monotypic

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A regular vagrant that occasionally attempts breeding
 - A vagrant pair at Cliffe Pools which attempted breeding in 2014.
SPAIN - A locally common resident.
 - SEVILLE 2011 TRIP: A flock seen flying away at El Rocio 
 - MADRID 2016 TRIP: A few birds at Laguna del Longar, abundant at Laguna Navaseca

Further Notes: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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