Common Redshanks

on 27th October 2021

I saw a large flock of Common Redshanks (Tringa totanus); about 25-35 birds spread out around the jetty walkway. Some birds were clearly just coming out of breeding plumage (above), others in non-breeding plumage (below).

But I was confused with some that had orange-red legs but a very dull base of bills (below). Usually we would expect the base of the bill in Common Redshanks to be orange.

Vinicombe (2014) points out that the base of the bill in juveniles is grey at first. Wells (1999) says that 1st winter birds have dull bills and feet. Hence these juveniles can be confused with Wood Sandpipers until they fly when the conspicuous white is seen. I also think that the bird shown above (second from top) is also a 1st winter bird as the upper parts are browner (Hayman 1986). Below shows a juvenile side by side with an adult.


  1. Vinicombe, Keith (2014). The Helm Guide to Bird Identification. Bloomsbury.
  2. Wells, D.R. (1999) The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Vol. 1 (Non-Passerines). Christopher Helm, London
  3. Hayman, Marchant, Prater (1986). Shorebirds: an identification guide to the waders of the world. Christopher Helm, London.

Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)

Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia


Location: Bagan Datuk, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Coastal Mangrove

Date: 10th September 2020

Equipment: Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone


If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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