Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Eurasian Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)

Adult Whimbrel (subspecies N. p. phaeopus) at Trevose Head, Cornwall - May 2012

OTHER NAMES: May Curlew, May Whaap, May Fowl, Half Curlew
Featured Subspecies: Numenius phaeopus phaeopus
Weight: 270-493g
Length: 37-47cm
Wingspan: 75-90cm
UK RED LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Whimbrel visually looks very much like a smaller curlew with the differences not necessarily being obvious to the casual observer at quick glance but most notably the different calls (whimbrels being a 7-note piping sound) and the shorter and more sharply curving beak. The whimbrel is much rarer than the curlew however which has a population in the region of 200 times the size. The whimbrel mainly breeds in Northern Scotland but, fortunately for me, can be seen on passage in other parts of the UK - in this case, Rainham, Trevose Head and Crayford Marshes along the Thames.  

Related Species:
Order:
Charadriiformes

Family: Scolopacidae
Genus: Numenius
Subspecies: N. p. phaeopus, N. p. alboaxillaris, N. p. variegatus

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Rare breeding species (400-500 pairs) and rare Wintering species (around 30 birds)
 - Seen on passage at Trevose HeadRainham Marshes and Crayford Marshes.

Further Information: RSPB, Wikipedia, Birdguides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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