Name: Red-necked Phalarope
Scientific name: Phalaropus lobatus
Nature Stars: 90
About: A small wader, only about 18cm long. Phalaropes are a strange group of pot-bellied, long-necked, short-legged, needle-billed waders that swim on the surface of the water, catching midges and mosquitoes. In non-breeding plumage they have a black ear patch
How to identify: The rarer Grey Phalarope is slightly larger and stockier, with a thicker bill, and more likely to be found around the coast.
Where: A very rare nesting bird on a few tiny pools in Shetland. A rare visitor to wetlands anywhere in the country during spring and autumn migration.
Fantastic fact: Male phalaropes are much duller in colour than the females, and incubate the eggs and look after the chicks: quite a role reversal!
Photograph credit: Photo credit tbc