Sunday 29 July 2018

The Stilt Family.

Several years ago I worked for a company based in North Norfolk. Most months I would have to go up there for sales meetings, and occasionally I would have time to call in at Titchwell for a little bird watching. In those days Titchwell had the only UK resident Black-winged Stilt. It was always a delight to see this beautiful wader, knowing it was an extremely rare bird in the UK. Since then I have only seen another 2 or 3 in the UK.

In recent years more of these birds have appeared for short periods in the UK and for the past 5 years there has been the odd pair breeding as well. 

With a pair of these birds, that probably had bred nearby, as they also had 2 youngsters in tow, appearing at Oare Marshes in Kent, David and I made a very late decision to head over that way and see if we could get a few photos of them. Calling into a couple of other spots on the way with mixed results, a Pectoral Sandpiper showing distantly at Pegwell Bay was the best, we rolled up at Oare early afternoon to be told that one of the Stilts had just walked along the shallows nearby and we should have been there 10 minutes earlier!!

From a distance we could see one of the adults and a youngster over the other side of the large expanse of water and we hoped that they would eventually come close again. While we were waiting we had good views of moulting Ruff and Avocet as well as large numbers of Black-tailed Godwit, as well as a small flock of Whimbrel flying over.

Eventually one of the youngsters flew in shortly followed by the female. With more waiting they did get reasonably close to us.

Female Black-winged Stilt.

Young Black-winged Stilt.

Muddy Waters!!

In the distance we could still see another adult, this one being the well marked male. This is the one we really wanted to come close. After another wait the 2nd chick appeared shortly followed by the male. Unfortunately the male still kept a little too distant, but with the wind easing off we both managed to get a few pleasing shots with some nice reflections.

Female Black-winged Stilt.

Male Black-winged Stilt.




  1. Stunning birds Bob and beautifully captured. Love the reflections on the water. A trip well worth making.

    1. Thanks Marc. Unfortunately we didn't h about the Southern Migrant Hawkers until 2 days after!!