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 Whimbrel  (Numenius phaeopus )



Identification: Whimbrels look very much like Curlews and have similarly down-curved bills but they are smaller, with shorter bills and obvious stripes through the crown. In flight their smaller size and quicker wing beats are the best ways of separating them, unless they call.

Habitat: Breeds on damp moorland and lakesides. Winters on muddy estuaries and rocky shores.

Distribution: An uncommon breeding bird in northern Scotland, mainly on Shetland. More common on passage in spring and autumn, most numerously on the coast. The North American race has been recorded in Britain and Poland on four occasions, the last being in 1980.

Widespread as a breeding bird in Scandinavia, the Baltic states and the Shetlands. Elsewhere they are seen on passage, usually in relatively small numbers in most estuaries in western Europe. They winter mostly in Africa but some remain in Iberia, on the Rio Formosa in Portugal, for example.

Population: There are between 410-470 pairs on Shetland and probably fewer than 25 pairs in the rest of Scotland. Recent studies put the population at nearer 530 in total.

At least 180 000 pairs breed in Europe.

 Source: Internet
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