Black-winged stilts at Soline

A rare sighting of an endangered species, with thanks to Alison and Bojan Bujić.

Black-winged stilt. Black-winged stilt. Photo: J.M.Garg

Alison Bujić by e-mail 22nd April 2016. We have just returned from a lovely walk around the Soline peninsula where Bojan spotted a pair of Black-winged Stilts standing motionless in a rock-pool.  We watched them for some time with binocs, hoping to see them catch something but in the end we gave up.  They are stunning to look at with their long bright red legs - do you or your bird-expert friend know about them and are they unusual here? We had no idea what they were until we looked them up when we came home.

 

Reply from Steve Jones, April 22nd 2016: I haven't seen them here but am familiar with the bird. Soline is a bit out of "my patch", all of my watching is in and around Dol/Stari Grad due to time restrictions. I will make a note - even when I was "holidaying" I hadn't come across them before. So a good record. Looking at one of my books I would suggest quite unusual/rare to see here but certainly not impossible and I would have no reason to doubt it as they are quite distinctive.

The Croatian State Institution for Nature Protection classifies the black-winged stilt as “critically endangered“. The description certainly illustrates why this bird should be protected: 

“The black-winged stilt is a very social bird. Outside of nesting season, they remain in small flocks of 5 to 10 birds, and are occasionally included in mixed flocks with other shorebirds. They are rarely solitary. Large flocks are common at resting areas. They nest in colonies, usually containing 10 to 40 pairs. They are monogamous, with the relationship between partners lasting one nesting season. They build their nests on the ground, on islands or spits surrounded by shallow water, occasionally even on dry ground. Building the nest, incubating the eggs and raising the young is the task of both parents. The brood usually consists of four eggs that hatch in 22-23 days, and the young birds are independent within 2 to 4 weeks.

The black-winged stilt began to nest in Croatia at the end of the 20th century, and today, few of these birds nest at only a few known localities.”

 Alison, April 22nd 2016: Thank you - this is really interesting and confirms Bojan's suspicion that they may have strayed from the Neretva delta area.

Photo of black-winged stilt by J.M.Garg (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsHTML
You are here: Home Nature Watch Black-winged stilts at Soline

Eco Environment News feeds

  • Government-owned company has back-pedalled on its pledge to cycle-proof the line, say campaigners, locking out cyclists for generations to come

    The company building the HS2 high speed rail line is accused of watering down commitments on cycle crossings along the route, in a move campaigners say will endanger lives and lock out cycling for generations to come.

    The government-owned company, HS2 Ltd, was accused of back-pedalling on its legally-binding assurance that it would “cycle-proof” phase 1 of HS2, from London to the West Midlands, earlier this year by Cycling UK, the national cycling charity. The assurances, which became legally binding when they were incorporated into the High Speed Rail Act, stated HS2 Ltd would have a dialogue with the Cycle Proofing Working Group (CPWG), a government advisory body, with the assumption that they would include high quality design standards.

    Continue reading...

  • New research has identified the species of shark currently found in hotter parts of the world that could migrate to UK waters by 2050 as the oceans warm

    Continue reading...

  • The Cornwall community achieved this status last December, by uniting against straws, bottles, takeaway boxes and disposable forks. Now 330 other towns aim to follow them

    Emily Kavanaugh is standing in her skincare-product shop, Pure Nuff Stuff, on Chapel Street. The narrow lane leads down towards the Jubilee pool, the triangular lido that juts like a ship’s prow into the sea from Penzance. “Here, try one,” Kavanaugh says, handing me a piece of packing material. The little white cloud looks and feels like a polystyrene packing “peanut”, but, Kavanaugh assures me, “it tastes exactly like a communion wafer”. After a wary nibble, I pop the whole thing in and notch it up as a snack.

    Kavanaugh’s packaging is made not of plastic but corn starch. If eating it feels like an act of faith, it is because there is a growing fervour in this Cornish seaside town. Last year, Penzance became the first town in Britain to receive “plastic-free” status from Surfers Against Sewage (SAS). The former single-issue movement, founded in Cornwall in 1990, has become a national marine conservation charity with plastics in its sights. But, rather than target shopping bags or plastic-lined coffee cups, SAS is attempting to unite whole communities against single-use plastic of all types, including straws, bottles, packaging, takeaway boxes, cotton buds, clingfilm and forks.

    Continue reading...

  • Sweden worst hit as hot, dry summer sparks unusual number of fires, with at least 11 in the far north

    At least 11 wildfires are raging inside the Arctic Circle as the hot, dry summer turns an abnormally wide area of Europe into a tinderbox.

    The worst affected country, Sweden, has called for emergency assistance from its partners in the European Union to help fight the blazes, which have broken out across a wide range of its territory and prompted the evacuations of four communities.

    Continue reading...

  • The floor of the Central Valley is slumping, and there is arsenic in the tap water. Now it seems the two problems are connected

    Isabel Solorio can see the water treatment plant from her garden across the street. Built to filter out the arsenic in drinking water, it hasn’t been active since 2007 – it shut down six months after opening when the California town of Lanare went into debt trying to keep up with maintenance costs.

    Related:‘Nothing to worry about. The water is fine’: how Flint poisoned its people

    Continue reading...

  • Satellite imagery shows hundreds of glaciers shrinking as average annual temperature rises 3.6C in 70 years

    Hundreds of glaciers in Canada’s high Arctic are shrinking and many are at risk of disappearing completely, an unprecedented inventory of glaciers in the country’s northernmost island has revealed.

    Using satellite imagery, researchers catalogued more than 1,700 glaciers in northern Ellesmere Island and traced how they had changed between 1999 and 2015.

    Continue reading...

  • By resurrecting a proposal to allow trophy hunters to shoot 250 hippos annually, Zambia stirs controversy.

    The hippo — really? That’s the common response when tour guides in Africa tantalize travelers with this question: “What’s the most dangerous animal on the continent?” Lion? Rhino? Elephant? No, no, no. Eventually, the tour guide delivers the answer with a twinkle in their eye: the hippo, yes, that water-loving, one-tonne mammalian oddity. Despite their hefty and somnolent appearance, hippos are fast and aggressive — a dangerous mix — and may kill several hundred people a year (of course the most dangerous animal in Africa is not really the hippo at all, it’s the mosquito — but no one likes a know-it-all).

    Despite being one of the most unusual animals on the planet — their closest relatives are whales and dolphins — hippos don’t get a lot of love. They tend to be overshadowed by the continent’s other remarkable mega-mammals. Who can compete with elephants and giraffe and lion? Perhaps, that’s why it’s not exactly surprising that the announcement of a hippo cull in Zambia didn’t exactly make global news.

    Continue reading...

  • Eleven people protesting over pollution from a copper plant have been killed by police in Tamil Nadu in south India

    Another person has been shot dead during violent protests in south India against a copper plant operated by a British mining giant residents say is polluting the local environment.

    Opposition politicians in the state of Tamil Nadu have accused the police of committing mass murder against protesters opposed to the expansion of a copper smelting facility in the port city of Thoothukudi.

    Continue reading...

  • This year, in collaboration with Global Witness, the Guardian aims to record the deaths of all people killed while protecting land or natural resources. At the current rate, about four defenders will die this week somewhere on the planet

    Continue reading...

  • Tanzanian government accused of putting indigenous people at risk in order to grant foreign tourists access to Serengeti wildlife

    The Tanzanian government is putting foreign safari companies ahead of Maasai herding communities as environmental tensions grow on the fringes of the Serengeti national park, according to a new investigation.

    Hundreds of homes have been burned and tens of thousands of people driven from ancestral land in Loliondo in the Ngorongoro district in recent years to benefit high-end tourists and a Middle Eastern royal family, says the report by the California-based thinktank the Oakland Institute.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds