Common redshank

The common redshank or simply redshank (Tringa totanus) is a Eurasian wader in the large family Scolopacidae. The genus name Tringa is the New Latin name given to the green sandpiper by Aldrovandus in 1599 based on Ancient Greek trungas, a thrush-sized, white-rumped, tail-bobbing wading bird mentioned by Aristotle. The specific totanus is from Tótano, the Italian name for this bird.[2]

Common redshank
Common Redshank Tringa totanus
Breeding plumage
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Scolopacidae
Genus: Tringa
T. totanus
Binomial name
Tringa totanus
  • Totanus totanus (Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Scolopax totanus Linnaeus, 1758
  • Tringa gambetta Linnaeus, 1758
Common Redshank Standing
Common Redshank seen at RSPB Freiston Shore, Lincolnshire, UK

Description and systematics

Tringa totanus-pjt
Bird (non-breeding) in flight (Laguna di Venezia, Italy)
Redshank searching for food.

Common redshanks in breeding plumage are a marbled brown color, slightly lighter below. In winter plumage they become somewhat lighter-toned and less patterned, being rather plain greyish-brown above and whitish below. They have red legs and a black-tipped red bill, and show white up the back and on the wings in flight.

The spotted redshank (T. erythropus), which breeds in the Arctic, has a longer bill and legs; it is almost entirely black in breeding plumage and very pale in winter. It is not a particularly close relative of the common redshank, but rather belongs to a high-latitude lineage of largish shanks. T. totanus on the other hand is closely related to the marsh sandpiper (T. stagnatilis), and closer still to the small wood sandpiper (T. glareola). The ancestors of the latter and the common redshank seem to have diverged around the Miocene-Pliocene boundary, about 5–6 million years ago. These three subarctic- to temperate-region species form a group of smallish shanks with have red or yellowish legs, and in breeding plumage are generally a subdued light brown above with some darker mottling, and have somewhat diffuse small brownish spots on the breast and neck.[3]


Several subspecies have been identified. These include:


The common redshank is a widespread breeding bird across temperate Eurasia. It is a migratory species, wintering on coasts around the Mediterranean, on the Atlantic coast of Europe from Ireland and Great Britain southwards, and in South Asia. They are uncommon vagrants outside these areas; on Palau in Micronesia for example, the species was recorded in the mid-1970s and in 2000.[9]

Redshanks on stone pillar
Two redshanks on a stone pillar
Tringa totanus MWNH 0210
Eggs, Collection Museum Wiesbaden

They are wary and noisy birds which will alert everything else with their loud piping call. Like most waders, they feed on small invertebrates. Redshanks will nest in any wetland, from damp meadows to saltmarsh, often at high densities.[10] They lay 3–5 eggs.

The common redshank is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

It is widely distributed and quite plentiful in some regions, and thus not considered a threatened species by the IUCN.[11]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2013). "Tringa totanus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2013: e.T22693211A50404828. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-2.RLTS.T22693211A50404828.en. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  2. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 388, 390. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  3. ^ Pereira, Sérgio Luiz; Baker, Alan J. (2005). "Multiple Gene Evidence for Parallel Evolution and Retention of Ancestral Morphological States in the Shanks (Charadriiformes: Scolopacidae)". The Condor. 107 (3): 514–526. doi:10.1650/0010-5422(2005)107[0514:MGEFPE]2.0.CO;2.
  4. ^ Schiøler, E.L. (1919). "Om den Islandske Redben (Totunus calidris robustus)". Dansk Ornitologisk Forenings (in Danish). XIII: 207–211.
  5. ^ Buturlin, S.A. (1934). Полный определитель птиц СССР [Polnyi Opredelitel Ptitsy SSSR] [Complete keys to the birds of the USSR] (in Russian). I: 88.
  6. ^ Oberholser, H.C. (1900). "Birds from Central Asia". Proceedings of the U.S. National Museum. XXII: 207–208.
  7. ^ Gill, F.; Donsker, D., eds. (2014). "IOC World Bird List (v 3.4)". doi:10.14344/IOC.ML.3.4. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
  8. ^ Hale, W.G. (1971). "A revision of the taxonomy of the Redshank Tringa totanus". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 50 (3): 199–268. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.1971.tb00761.x.
  9. ^ Wiles, Gary J.; Johnson, Nathan C.; de Cruz, Justine B.; Dutson, Guy; Camacho, Vicente A.; Kepler, Angela Kay; Vice, Daniel S.; Garrett, Kimball L.; Kessler, Curt C.; Pratt, H. Douglas (2004). "New and Noteworthy Bird Records for Micronesia, 1986–2003". Micronesica. 37 (1): 69–96. Archived from the original on 5 May 2009.
  10. ^ Cadbury, C. J.; Green, R.; Allport, G. (1987). "Redshanks and other breeding waders of British saltmarshes". RSPB Conservation Review. 1: 37–40 – via
  11. ^ "Species factsheet: Tringa totanus". BirdLife International. 2008.

External links

Angle, Pembrokeshire

Angle (Welsh: Angl) is a village, parish and community on the southern side of the entrance to the Milford Haven Waterway in Pembrokeshire, Wales. It has a school, two pubs, a village shop with a post office and St Mary's church. There is a bus link to Pembroke railway station.

The Sailors' Chapel, a Grade I listed building, is in the church graveyard.

At Castle Farm, there is a Pele tower and above Castle Bay there are the remains of an Iron Age fort. On the headland there are visible remains of medieval strip farming.

Angle bay is a wilderness of mud and sand making it a good home for invertebrates making it popular with many bird species such as dunlin, grey plover, common redshank, Eurasian oystercatcher and Eurasian curlew. The nearby Kilpaison Marsh has been a breeding area for Cetti's warbler in the reed beds and scrub. West Angle Bay is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, with rock pools which are home to the rare cushion starfish, and also a sandy beach .The Angle Lifeboat Station received silver medals in 1878 for rescuing the crew of the Loch Shiel from rocks near Thorn Island. The ship had been carrying a cargo of whisky and beer.

Berney Marshes RSPB reserve

Berney Marshes RSPB reserve is a nature reserve managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). It is situated south of the River Bure in Norfolk, England.

It is part of the Halvergate Marshes.364 hectares of mainly grassland support wading birds such as lapwing, common redshank and common snipe, as well as large numbers of overwintering wading birds, geese and wildfowl.

Berney Arms village and the impressive landmark of Berney Arms Windmill are nearby.

Bird Island, Slovakia

Bird Island is 6.86-hectare (17.0-acre) island in the Hrušovská zdrž (2518 ha), which is part of Gabčíkovo Reservoir, south-west of Šamorín, Slovakia. The island was built because of the constructions of the Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros dams on the Danube as habitat compensation for areas consequently flooded. The island is part of proposed special protected areas Dunajské luhy for waterbirds. The most important breeding birds are Mediterranean gull (Larus melanocephalus), which is the only breeding site in Slovakia, and common redshank (Tringa totanus), for which it is the only breeding site in West Slovakia. Access is prohibited during the breeding and wintering seasons.

Blackwater Estuary

The Blackwater Estuary is the estuary of the River Blackwater between Maldon and West Mersea in Essex. It is a 5,538 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). An area of 4,395 hectares is also designated a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance, and a Special Protection Area 1,099 hectares is a National Nature Reserve. Tollesbury Wick and part of Abbotts Hall Farm, both nature reserve managed by the Essex Wildlife Trust, are in the SSSI.Oysters have been harvested from the estuary for more than a thousand years and there are remains of fish weirs from the Anglo-Saxon era. At the head of the estuary is the town of Maldon, which is a centre of salt production. The other major settlement is the town West Mersea, of Mersea Island, on the northern seaward side. Numerous other villages are on its banks.

Within the estuary is Northey Island which was the location for the first experiments in the UK in 'managed retreat', i.e. creating saltmarsh by setting sea walls back from what are perceived to be unsustainable positions. The area is notable as a breeding area for little tern (Sternula albifrons) and as a transit point for ringed plover (Charadrius hiaticula).

Over-wintering species

Pied avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)

Black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa islandica)

Dark-bellied brent goose (Branta bernicla bernicla)

Dunlin (Calidris alpina alpina)

Eurasian golden plover (Pluvialis apricaria)

Grey plover (Pluvialis squatarola)

Hen harrier (Circus cyaneus)

Common redshank (Tringa totanus)

Ringed plover (Charadrius hiaticula)

Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)

Common shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)The Estuary is also the current mooring location for the Ross Revenge, the home of former pirate station Radio Caroline

Eilean na Muice Duibhe

Eilean na Muice Duibhe, also known as Duich Moss, is an area of low-level blanket mire on the island of Islay, off the west coast of Scotland. Located south of the town of Bowmore and with an area of 576 hectares, the area has been protected as a Ramsar Site since 1988.The site includes an unusual transition from blanket bog to raised mire habitats. It supports an internationally important population of white-fronted geese, with 2% of the Greenland population overwintering at the site. Breeding birds include the common redshank, red-throated loon and hen harrier.As well as being recognised as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention, Eilean na Muice Duibhe has also been designated a Special Protection Area.

Gamla Varberg

Gamla Varberg (Swedish: "Old Varberg") is a nature reserve in Varberg Municipality, Sweden. It was established in 1966.

The nature reserve consists of a hill with the same name and the surrounding area. It is located at the Kattegat. From the top of the hill, there is a beautiful view over the sea and the island Balgö. In earlier times, the hill worked as a beacon hill. On the top, there is a cairn from the Bronze Age.

For a long time, Gamla Varberg and its surroundings was a grazed outfield. In the area, there were only a few homesteads. In the 1950s, junipers began to grow in the area. In the 1990s, the junipers were removed and the landscape restored.

On the heathland at Gamla Varberg, there are species like devils-bit scabious, wild thyme, Pedicularis sylvatica, and marsh gentian. On the shore meadow at Kattegat, there are Armeria maritima, Trifolium fragiferum, shore arrowgrass, and Salicornia europaea. Inside the nature reserve, there are birds like the northern lapwing, common redshank, and Eurasian oystercatcher.

Hexhamshire Moors

Hexhamshire Moors is a Site of Special Scientific Interest covering an extensive area of moorland in the Wear Valley district of north-west County Durham and the Tynedale district of south-west Northumberland, England.

It is a broadly rectangular area, occupying most of the upland between the valleys of the River East Allen to the west and Devil's Water to the east. The southern part of the site shares boundaries with the Muggleswick, Stanhope and Edmundbyers Commons and Blanchland Moor SSSI to the east and is separated from the Allendale Moors SSSI only by a very narrow strip of the East Allen valley.

The area has one of the largest expanses of blanket bog and heathland in northern England. Acid bogs occur in the vicinity of the numerous flushes that drain the moorland plateau, and localised patches of acid grassland have developed in areas that are regularly grazed by sheep.Floristically, much of the area is species-poor, but there are small populations of some nationally scarce species, including bog orchid, Hammarbya paludosa, which is found on the blanket peat, and forked spleenwort, Asplenium septentrionale, whose presence at one locality in the Northumberland part of the site is, to date, the only known record for that county.

The site's principal importance lies in its nationally important breeding populations of birds: three species—merlin, Eurasian golden plover and short-eared owl—are listed in Annex 1 of the European Commission's Birds Directive as requiring special protection and several others, including red grouse, Eurasian curlew, common redshank, Eurasian oystercatcher and dunlin, are listed in the United Kingdom's Red Data Book (Birds).Much of the moorland heath also supports a rich assemblage of invertebrates, including several scarce species of ground beetle, Carabidae.

The site is within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Ingrebourne Marshes

Ingrebourne Marshes are a 74.8 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Hornchurch in the London Borough of Havering. Ingrebourne Valley Local Nature Reserve includes a small part of the SSSI west of the River Ingrebourne. The site is managed by the Essex Wildlife TrustThe Marshes run along both sides of the river, the northern portion next to Hornchurch Country Park and stretching south to Rainham. This is almost all closed to the public, but part of it can be viewed from the Park. A long narrow strip stretches east from the river to Berwick Pond Road, incorporating Berwick Pond, a reservoir which is used for fishing. This is open to the public. The site also includes an irrigation reservoir east of Berwick Pond Road.The site is the largest area of freshwater marsh in Greater London. It is very diverse, with large areas of reed sweet-grass, common reed swamp, wet neutral grassland and tall fen. These habitats have a wide variety of invertebrates and breeding birds. Invertebrates include sixteen nationally scarce fly, beetle dragonfly and cricket species. There are two nationally rare Red Data Book species, the hoverfly Anasimyia interpuncta and the scarce emerald damselfly Lestes dryas. 61 species of bird regularly breed on the site, such as the common redshank and the northern lapwing. Common cuckoos exploit the nests of reed warblers and sedge warblers. Havering Council has raised the water level and reintroduced grazing to protect the wetland.Access to the site is from Hornchurch Country Park and Berwick Pond Road.

Jacques Van Impe

Jacques Van Impe (born January 15, 1941) is a Belgian academic widely published in the field of ornithology. His research is particularly focused on reproduction in the greater white-fronted goose, the bean goose (Anser fabalis rossicus), the Eurasian oystercatcher, the pied avocet, the northern lapwing, the black-tailed godwit, and the common redshank.

Kingsley Common

Kingsley Common is a 41-hectare (100-acre) protected area in Kingsley, Hampshire, England. It is a RSPB site, and holds many rare species of animals and birds. Some species of plants and animals may also be subject to special protection under Part I of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, or under the Habitats Regulations 1994.Protection status National Partial International Partial IBA partly or wholly overlaps with the following national designated areas. Sites of Special Scientific Interest: Kingsley and Broxhead common. There are 21 commons that still support substantial Dry dwarf shrub heath communities. This habitat covers 292 hectares (720 acres) – 7.5% of the surveyed area. Notable examples of commons with dry heaths are Yateley Common and Kingsley Common.Yately Common, and Kingsley Common include several priority bird species such as European nightjar, Dartford warbler, woodlark and song thrush. Chilbolton Common supports important numbers of breeding common redshank, northern lapwings, common snipe and warblers.

Kungsbacka Fjord

The Kungsbacka Fjord (Swedish: Kungsbackafjorden) is a fjord and a nature reserve in Halland County, western Sweden. The fjord is about 10 km long. It is delimited to the west by the Onsala Peninsula and to the east by the parish of Fjärås. The rivers Rolfsån and Kungsbackaån empty out into the fjord, which in turn opens to the Kattegat.

The Kungsbacka Fjord Nature Reserve (Swedish: Kungsbackafjordens naturreservat), established in 2005, has an area of 5200 hectares and is included in the Natura 2000 network. More than 240 bird species have been noted, including the common redshank, the yellow wagtail, the tufted duck and the rare smew.

Mid-Yare National Nature Reserve

Mid-Yare NNR is a national nature reserve in Norfolk, east of Norwich, established by English Nature and managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). In RSPB publications, this reserve is known as Strumpshaw Fen.

The reserve consists of floodplains along the River Yare, and the total area is 7.8 km2. It centres on the Strumpshaw area.

The alder carr and willow carr support the swallowtail butterfly and the Norfolk hawker dragonfly Aeshna isosceles, as well as marsh harriers, bearded tits and most of the country's Cetti's warblers.

The wet grasslands hold internationally important numbers of wigeon, nationally important numbers of European white-fronted goose, and Britain's largest flock of bean goose, as well as northern lapwing, common redshank and common snipe.

The RSPB controls the water levels, maintains the dykes, cuts the reed beds and keeps disturbance of the wildlife to a minimum.

Montrose Basin

The Montrose Basin is part of the estuary of the South Esk forming a tidal basin near to the town of Montrose, Angus, on the east coast of Scotland.

The nature reserve in this embayment is internationally important for pink-footed geese, red knot and common redshank and is nationally important for common shelduck, wigeon and common eider ducks. It is also popular with mute swans, oystercatchers and northern lapwings as well as smaller birds. Breeding birds are preyed on by peregrine falcons and sparrowhawks. The visitor centre, run by the Scottish Wildlife Trust, is accessible from the A92 road.

The swans give the Basin its old, more poetic name, the "Sea of Swans".The Montrose Basin Heritage Society was formed in 1999 to bring together information about the basin, including its history and archaeology.

The Basin has been exploited for its seafood. At one time Montrose was Scotland's second largest exporter of salmon; and mussel cultivation gave it the largest mussel beds in the country during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Eels have also been an important catch.

The Montrose Basin was hit by a tsunami in 6100 BC, generated by the massive underwater Storegga Slide, in Norway. It was 70 feet (21 m) high when it hit the basin, with the waters travelling inland as far as Forfar.

Moorhouse and Cross Fell

Moorhouse and Cross Fell is a Site of Special Scientific Interest covering an extensive area of moorland in the Wear Valley district of west County Durham and the Eden district of Cumbria, England. It is contiguous with Upper Teesdale SSSI to the east and Appleby Fells SSSI to the south. The area covered extends roughly from an arc through the villages of Gamblesby, Leadgate and Garrigill southward as far as Milburn in the west and Cow Green Reservoir in the east. It includes the whole of Cross Fell, the summit of which, at 893 metres asl, is the highest point in the Pennines and in England outside the Lake District.

The area is important for its wide variety of upland habitats, especially blanket bog, sub-montane and montane heath, montane bryophyte heath, limestone grassland and flushes, and for the fauna and flora that they support. The site also includes a number of localities of geological interest.More than forty species of birds breed in the area, including several raptors—merlin, peregrine, common buzzard, common kestrel, short-eared owl—and waders—Eurasian golden plover, dunlin, common sandpiper, northern lapwing, Eurasian curlew, common redshank, and common snipe—whose survival is threatened; four (merlin, peregrine, golden plover and short-eared owl) are listed in Annex 1 of the European Commission's Birds Directive as requiring special protection and others (including lapwing and dunlin) are listed in the United Kingdom's Red Data Book (Birds).The invertebrate fauna is best known from studies conducted over many years at the Moor House NNR. The area shares many characteristics with the Cairngorms region of Scotland but there are some notable rarities, including a rove beetle, Olophrum assimile, which is known from only one other locality in Britain, a carabid beetle, Nebria nivalis, which has not been found anywhere else in the North Pennines and is known elsewhere in Britain only from North Wales, the Cairngorms and Scafell Pike, and a leiodid beetle, Hydnobius spinipes, which is known from only four other localities in Britain. In all, some 27 endangered species and over 70 nationally scarce species have been recorded from the Moor House reserve.Although the area has a variety of habitats, it is the montane vegetation that is particularly notable. The summit of Cross Fell is dominated by a heath in which the moss Racromitium lanuginosum is dominant and is the most extensive area of such heath in England. Other notable montane and sub-montane species include hair sedge, Carex capillaris, northern bedstraw, Galium boreale, mountain everlasting, Antennaria dioica, and alpine forget-me-not, Myosotis alpestris.Within the site are five localities of geological interest, of which the following are particularly notable:

Knock Fell Caverns — situated at the head of Knock Ore Gill, this is the most extensive maze cave system in Britain.

Cross Fell — together with the Dun Fells and Knock Fell, this area is important both for its examples of periglacial landforms and because some periglacial processes are still active.

Muggleswick, Stanhope and Edmundbyers Commons and Blanchland Moor

Muggleswick, Stanhope and Edmundbyers Commons and Blanchland Moor is a Site of Special Scientific Interest in County Durham and Northumberland, England. It consists of two separate areas, the larger—encompassing the upland areas of Muggleswick, Stanhope and Edmundbyers Commons—in the Derwentside and Wear Valley districts of north Durham, the smaller—Blanchland Moor—in the Tynedale district of south-west Northumberland.The site has one of the most extensive areas of dry heath in northern England. There are also areas of wet heath, acid grassland, flushes, relict juniper woodland and small areas of open water.

The dry heath is dominated by heather, Calluna vulgaris, and wavy hair-grass, Deschampsia flexuosa; the regionally rare bearberry, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, is found on the higher parts of Blanchland Moor. Other noteworthy plants are the nationally scarce pale forget-me-not, Myosotis stolonifera, and the regionally rare round-leaved crowfoot, Ranunculus omiophyllus, and ivy-leaved bellflower, Wahlenbergia hederacea, all of which occur in the vicinity of streams, and the nationally scarce spring sandwort, Minuartia verna, one of a number of metallophytes that occur on old spoil heaps around disused lead-mines on Stanhope Common.As with the rest of the North Pennines moorlands, of which these areas form part, the site is home to nationally important breeding populations of a number of birds. Three species—merlin, Eurasian golden plover and short-eared owl—are listed in Annex 1 of the European Commission's Birds Directive as requiring special protection; the high density of merlin is particularly noteworthy. Other breeding species include red grouse, Eurasian curlew, common redshank, common snipe and dunlin, which are listed in the United Kingdom's Red Data Book (Birds).

RSPB Frampton Marsh

Frampton Marsh is a nature reserve in Lincolnshire, England. The reserve is situated on the coast of The Wash, some 4 miles from the town of Boston, between the outfalls of the Rivers Welland and Witham (covering an area of mature salt marsh known as The Scalp), and near the village of Frampton. Most of the reserve is managed by the RSPB with part managed by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. There is a small visitor centre at the entrance to the reserve.

Thousands of migrating birds gather at Frampton Marsh. Species which can be observed here include pied avocet, common redshank and curlew. The reserve has recorded many nationally rare bird species, such as oriental pratincole, collared pratincole, lesser yellowlegs, baird's sandpiper, broad-billed sandpiper, white-rumped sandpiper, pectoral sandpiper, long-billed dowitcher and stilt sandpiper.

Tattler (bird)

The tattlers are the two very similar bird species in the shorebird genus Tringa. They formerly had their own genus, Heteroscelus. The old genus name means "different leg" in Greek, referring to the leg scales that differentiate the tattlers from their close relatives, the shanks.

The species are:

Grey-tailed tattler, Tringa brevipes (formerly Heteroscelus brevipes)

Wandering tattler, Tringa incana (formerly Heteroscelus incanus)Tattlers resemble a common redshank (T. totanus) in shape and size, but not in color. Their upper parts, underwings, face and neck are greyish, and the belly and the weak supercilium are white, with some greyish streaking on the underside in breeding plumage. They have short yellowish legs and a bill with a pale base and dark tip.

Certain identification to species depends on details like the length of the nasal groove and scaling on the tarsus. Birds in breeding plumage can also (with some experience) be identified by the underside pattern: the grey-tailed tattler has fine barring on throat, breast and flanks only, which appear light grey from a distance; the rest of the underside is pure white. The wandering tattler has a coarser barring, still visible from quite far away, all the way from the throat to the undertail coverts. In non-breeding plumage, observers with much experience will note that the wandering tattler is an overall darker bird with very weak supercilia, whereas the grey-tailed tattler is lighter – particularly on the face, due to their stronger supercilia. Their normal calls also differ strongly; the grey-tailed tattler has a disyllabic whistle, whereas the wandering tattler has a rippling trill. But when they flee from the observer or are otherwise startled or excited, both species alike give a variety of longer or shorter alarm calls.Tattlers are strongly migratory and winter in the tropics and subtropics on muddy and sandy coasts. These are not particularly gregarious birds and are seldom seen in large flocks except at roosts. These birds forage on the ground or water, picking up food by sight. They eat insects, crustaceans and other invertebrates.Their breeding habitat is stony riverbeds. They nest on the ground, but these waders will perch in trees and sometimes use old nests of other birds.

Teesdale Allotments

Teesdale Allotments is a Site of Special Scientific Interest in the Teesdale district of County Durham, England. It consists of two large upland areas north of the Tees valley, one to the north and east of the village of Newbiggin, the other to the north-east of Middleton-in-Teesdale.

The area, which adjoins the Upper Teesdale SSSI, consists of enclosed upland grazings, and is of national importance for its bird populations. Species that breed in the area include Northern lapwing, common snipe, common redshank, Eurasian golden plover, black grouse and Eurasian curlew, all except the last of which are declining in numbers nationally. Densities of breeding waders are among the highest in Britain, with up to 90 pairs recorded from one 1 km square.The black grouse population is particularly important: while this species has declined almost everywhere in England, and is now extinct in some former breeding areas, such as Dartmoor and Exmoor, the population in Teesdale has remained relatively stable, and the area now holds 30 percent of the English population, 7 percent of it in the Teesdale Allotments.

Other breeding birds include common teal, merlin, red grouse, short-eared owl, ring ouzel, and Northern wheatear, all of which are listed, or are candidates for listing, in the United Kingdom's Red Data Book (Birds). Three breeding species—merlin, golden plover and short-eared owl—are listed in Annex 1 of the European Commission's Birds Directive as requiring special protection.


Totanus (Bechstein, 1803) is a generic name previously applied to various waders or shorebirds, now subsumed within Tringa. Created by Bechstein, it derives from the species name for the common redshank, described by Linnaeus in 1758 as Scolopax totanus, from “totano”, the Italian name for the bird.Birds once placed in the genus include:

Common redshank (Totanus totanus), now Tringa totanus

Greater yellowlegs (Totanus melanoleucus), now Tringa melanoleuca

Lesser yellowlegs (Totanus flavipes), now Tringa flavipes

Willet (Totanus semipalmatus), now Tringa semipalmata

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.