Taxonomy conform IOC World Bird List


  • Breeding range => Palearctic : subarctic and temperate Palearctic wetlands, meadows: Faroe Is., British Is., Scandinavia s to s France, e through n Kazakhstan and (locally) n Mongolia to Transbaikalia (ne Russia), Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang (ne China)
  • Nonbreeding range => Africa, Oriental Region : mainly subtropical to tropical coasts and larger rivers, Iceland, s British Isles, s Europe, Mediterranean, Africa, Malagasy region through Middle East, Indian subcontinent, se Asia, Indonesian Archipelago; s, sc Japan, Korean Peninsula, se China, Taiwan and Philippines


  • N. a. arquata - w, n, c Europe | w, s Europe and w Africa
  • N. a. orientalis - w, c Siberia to Manchuria | Mediterranean, Africa and s, se Asia
  • N. a. suschkini - w Kazakhstan to sw Siberia | sw Asia and coastal Africa s of the Sahara



Near Threatened


This widespread species remains common in many parts of its range, and determining population trends is problematic. Nevertheless, declines have been recorded in several key populations and overall a moderately rapid global decline is estimated. As a result, the species has been uplisted to Near Threatened; it almost qualifies for threatened under criteria A2bcd+3bcd+4bcd.


Behaviour Most populations of this species are fully migratory (del Hoyo et al. 1996) and breed from April to August (Hayman et al. 1986) in solitary territorial pairs (Johnsgard 1981), occasionally also forming small colonies (Flint et al. 1984). After breeding adults gather on coasts (from July onwards) (Hayman et al. 1986) for the post-breeding moult (Snow and Perrins 1998) before migrating south to the wintering grounds between July and November (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species departs its wintering grounds again from February through to May, although non-breeders may remain in the wintering areas all-year-round (del Hoyo et al. 1996). During the winter the species usually forages singly or in small groups (del Hoyo et al. 1996) occasionally aggregating into flocks of several thousand individuals, especially at roosting sites (Snow and Perrins 1998). Habitat Breeding The species breeds on upland moors, peat bogs, swampy and dry heathlands, fens, open grassy or boggy areas in forests, damp grasslands, meadows (del Hoyo et al. 1996), non-intensive farmland in river valleys (Hayman et al. 1986), dune valleys and coastal marshlands (del Hoyo et al. 1996) Non-breeding During the winter the species frequents muddy coasts, bays and estuaries (del Hoyo et al. 1996) with tidal mudflats and sandflats (Snow and Perrins 1998), rocky and sandy beaches with many pools (Johnsgard 1981, Snow and Perrins 1998), mangroves, saltmarshes (Snow and Perrins 1998), coastal meadows and pasture (Johnsgard 1981, Navedo et al. 2013) and muddy shores of coastal lagoons (Johnsgard 1981), inland lakes and rivers (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It also utilises wet grassland and arable fields during migration (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Diet Its diet consists chiefly of annelid worms and terrestrial insects (del Hoyo et al. 1996) (e.g. Coleoptera and Orthoptera) (Johnsgard 1981) especially during the summer (del Hoyo et al. 1996), although it will also take crustaceans, molluscs, polychaete worms (del Hoyo et al. 1996), spiders (Johnsgard 1981), berries and seeds, as well as occasionally small fish, amphibians, lizards, young birds and small rodents (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is a shallow depression on the ground or on a mound (Flint et al. 1984) in the open or in the cover of grass or sedge (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Management information A study into the effects of shellfish harvesting by hand in coastal intertidal habitats recommends that the harvesting load should be limited to -1 during this species's autumn migration (Navedo and Masero 2007).


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Updated at: 2024-02-23 07:09:26
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