Sexes alike. Sandy-brown above; white forehead; black bands on head and breast and white neck-ring diagnostic; white chin and throat; lack of wing bar in flight and yellow legs and ring around eye additional clues. Small numbers, often along with other shorebirds; runs on ground, on mud and drying jheels, walks with characteristic bobbing gait, picking food from ground; when approached close, flies rapidly, low over ground, zigzag flight accompanied by a whistling note.
Little Ringed Plover
Sexes alike. Black and white plumage, long, bluish legs and long, slender upcurved beak diagnostic. In flight, the long legs extend much beyond the tail. Usually gregarious, only sometimes 2 to 3 birds scattered over waterbody; frequently enters shallow water; characteristic sideways movement of head when
feeding, the head bent low as upcurved beak sweeps along bottom mud; also swims and up-ends, duck-like.
Male: jet-black mantle and pointed wings; rest of plumage glossy white. Female: dark brown where male is black; black wing underside; black spots on head; duller overall in winter. Very long, pink-red legs diagnostic; extends much beyond tail in flight. Gregarious; large numbers, often along with other waders in wetlands; long legs enable it to enter relatively deep water; clumsy walk; submerges head when feeding; characteristic flight silhouette.
Sexes alike. Sandy-brown plumage, streaked dark; whitish below breast; thickish head, long, bare, yellow legs and large eye-goggles diagnostic; white wing-patch in flight. Solitary or in pairs; strictly a ground bird; crepuscular and nocturnal; rather quiet, sitting for long hours in same patch, where seen regularly; colouration and habitat makes it difficult to spot; squats tight or runs in short steps when located and disturbed, moving suspiciously. The Great Thick-knee Esacus recurvirostris is larger and has an upturned bill.
A lily-trotter with unmistakable long legs and very long toes; glossy black head, neck, underparts; glossy bronzegreen upperparts; prominent white supercilium; yellow bill with blue/ red frontal shield; rump, tail, undertailcoverts chestnut; sociable, except in breeding season; fairly tame but wary; will feed in open, often hides partially under water among aquatic plants; walks on floating vegetation; active diurnal feeder.
Sexes alike. Male: breeding plumage chocolate-brown and white; goldenyellow on hind-neck. Dull brown and white; when not breeding, also has blackish necklace and lacks long tail; very long toes diagnostic. Solitary or in pairs when breeding; small flocks in winter; purely aquatic, moving on vegetation-covered pond surfaces; unusually long toes enable it to walk on the lightest of floating leaves; quite confiding on village ponds.
Polyandrous. Breeing female: metallic-olive above, thickly marked buff and black; buff stripe down crown centre; chestnut throat, breast and sides of neck; white below breast. Breeding male: duller overall; lacks chestnut. Sexes difficult to distinguish when not in breeding plumage. Crepuscular and nocturnal; solitary or a few scattered birds; feeds in squelchy mud but also moves on drier ground; runs on landing.
Tiny, rather plain wader with short, fine, slightly down-curved bill, pale yellowish legs; rather parallel posture; non-breeding adult has more uniform grey-brown upperparts, grey wash on breast, white underparts; darker black and brown patterning on upperparts in breeding, with darker head and breast; in flight, differs from other stints by white outer-tail feathers; fairly, but not overly, gregarious; singly, or in small scattered flocks; shy, skulking at edges of wetlands; easily overlooked; slower, less active feeder than other stints.
Sexes alike. Olive-brown above, more ash-brown and streaked brown on head and neck sides; brown rump; white below; lightly streaked brown on breast; in flight, narrow white wing bar and brown rump; white ‘hook’ at shoulder; In summer, darker above and speckled. One to 3 birds, either by themselves or scattered amidst mixed wader flocks; quite active; makes short dashes, bobbing and wagging short tail; usually flies low over water, the rapid wingbeats
interspersed with short glides (‘vibrating flight’) helping identification of the species.
Sexes alike. Grey-brown above, closely spotted with white; slender build; white rump and tail; white below; brown on breast; no wing bar. Summer: dark olivebrown above, spotted white. The Green Sandpiper T. ochropus is stouter, more shy, much darker and glossy brown-olive above; in flight, white rump contrasts strikingly with dark upper body; blackish below wings diagnostic. Small to medium-size flocks, often with other waders; quite active, probing deep into mud or feeding at edge.