AT THE BEGINNING of last month we saw a group of five Redshanks perching on the rocks at Marine Drive, Scarborough, preening as they waited for the tide to go out. They were a bit too distant to draw but I photographed them with my 30x zoom, resting it on the concrete top of the sea wall.
Writing in British Birds in 1952, G Warburg described some remarkable communal behaviour in breeding Redshanks when dogs and, once, an otter, Lutra lutra, approached;
‘up to 20 packed close round intruding mammal, following it carefully with bowing and bobbing movements (in the case if L. lutra, silently) when dog ran, birds hovered overhead, giving Chip-calls.’
Warbury 1952 and Grosskopf 1959, quoted in Birds of the Western Palaearctic, 1983