Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Grey Phalarope
(Red Phalarope, Red-Footed Tringa, Sea Goose, Sea Snipe, Bank-Bird, Brown Bank-Bird, Flat-Billed Phalarope, Gray Bank-Bird, Gray Phalarope, Gulf Bird, Mackerel Goose, Scallop-toed Sandpiper)
Gaelic: Liathag Tllt, Liathag Allt
Photography © Terry Fountain
Stinky Bay - Benbecula - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
4th January, 2008
Our Grey Phalarope photographs
- Grey Phalarope
- Phalaropus fulicarius
- Gaelic: Liathag Tllt, Liathag Allt
- UK: Passage Visitor
- UK: 166 annual records BTO
- WI: Scarce (very small numbers recorded in most years, sometimes more in persistent gales) autumn passage visitor
- Breeds: Arctic regions: Iceland, Greenland, North Siberia, North America, North Europe
- Winters in the Southern oceans
- Diet: Invertebrates, (plus seeds etc when reaching breeding grounds)
- Habitat: coastal tundra (migration coasts)
- Small wader (21cm / 8 in length) . Winter mostly grey above & white below, with black eyepatch & straight black bill.
Breeding female dark brown & black above, red below, white cheek patches & yellow black-tipped bill. Breeding male similar but duller. Young birds light grey & brown above, buff below & dark eye patch
- Similar birds: Red-necked Phalarope, Wilson's Phalarope
Phalarope do not make typical monogamous pairings. The females are the most brightly coloured, they sing and court the males, and also fight each other for the attentions of the males.
The males incubate the eggs and feed the young whilst the females take on a second partner...
Phalarope feed by swirling up freshwater bottom sediments and eating the insects etc that rise up. The process by which they swirl the water makes them spin around.
Almost all the wintering is in done at sea.
Grey Phalarope records in the Western Isles
Scarce (very small numbers recorded in most years, sometimes more in persistent gales) autumn passage visitor
Source: Outer Hebrides Bird Report (2001)
The chart below shows how abundant the Grey Phalarope is during a month or when you are more likely to see it.
(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)
Other local bird photographs
Sources of information for the bird sightings section