Image 44 of 658
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus L 40-45cm. Smaller cousin to Curlew with shorter bill, diagnostic head markings and distinctive call. Sexes are similar. Adult has grey-brown to buffish brown plumage with fine, dark streaking on neck and breast. Head pattern comprises two broad, dark lateral stripes on otherwise pale crown, and pale supercilium. Juvenile is similar but plumage is overall warmer buff. Voice Distinctive bubbling call comprises seven notes that descend slightly in pitch from start to finish. Song is confusingly similar to that of Curlew. Status Rare breeding species, favouring boggy moorland; Shetland is a hotspot. Fairly common passage migrant in spring and autumn on coasts; overwinters in S in very small numbers.