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Shorebird - The Netherlands / Zeeland / Nieuwvliet (1 Viewer)


Hi all,

I need some help identifying the bird in the attached photos. The pictures were taken by me. Unfortunately the quality of the pictures is quite poor due to overcast weather conditions and the great distance between me and the bird. The bird flew away before I could get a proper in focus shot.

The bird was spotted in a nature reserve next to the coast. The environment shows some kind of mud flat / tidal pool where the bird was wading and looking for food.

After checking with various online and offline resources I could not come up with a definitive identification. Especially the large black and white pattern on the bird's belly is throwing me off. I considered a juvenile bird or some changing feather pattern between seasons. The latter seems unlikely since we are in full summer over here.

An answer in the order of the Charadriiformes looks most plausible. I considered the following families, but could not find a clear candidate:
My best guess, would be a Ruff (Philomachus Pugnax), but I would love some confirmation on that. That bird is quite uncommon around here and that would make this a rare sighting.

Location and timing details:
  • Country = The Netherlands
  • Province = Zeeland
  • Community = Nieuwvliet
  • Nature reserve = Verdronken Zwarte Polder (view on Google Maps)
  • Date = 2020-07-27
  • Time = 11:10
P.S. Not trying to sound smart with the Latin names, but the English names of bird species are a challenge for non-native speakers like me. The Latin names are universal and also work with my Dutch literature.

Thanks in advance for any help!


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