Red-necked Phalarope/Phalaropus lobatus

Red-necked Phalarope/Phalaropus lobatus - Photographer: Борис Белчев
Red-necked Phalarope/Phalaropus lobatus - Photographer: Борис Белчев
Red-necked Phalarope/Phalaropus lobatus - Photographer: Любомир Андреев - Лу_пи
Red-necked Phalarope/Phalaropus lobatus - Photographer: Сергей Дерелиев

L 17-19 cm, WS 30-34 cm. Breeds on wet marshes and pools and female'sier delta lands on mountainsides above tree limit or on tundra; extends farther inland and to higher altitude than Red Phalarope. Migrates in late Jul-Aug/early Sep (earlier than Red), mainly nonstop towards SE across Europe to winter in Arabian Sea, where it leads pelagic life far from land. Scarce on autumn passage, feeding at coasts, inland marshes and pools. In W Europe rare in spring, too, but in N Baltic and further east may occur in very large flocks in late May. Nest in vegetation near water. Sex roles reversed as with Red Phalarope.
IDENTIFICATION: General size, shape and behaviour much as described for Red, but a little smaller and daintier, with slightly shorter body (less gulllike when swimming), and bill very thin (not laterally flattened) and always all black. - Adult summer: Crown, cheeks, back of neck, breast-sides and mantle lead-grey, throat and small spot above eye white. Variable amount of red or rufous-ochre on sides of neck, neater and more intense on female, less colourful and with less clear-cut pattern on male. - Adult winter: (Rarely seen in Europe.) Medium grey above, with distinct whitish mantle-V and scapular fringes (Red Phalarope paler and almost plain). - Juvenile: Unlike Red Phalarope, has prominent ochrous-buff (or whitish when faded) Vs above on both mantle and scapulars, a solid dark cap, and a light-pinkish grey tinge on neck/breast-sides (which, however, quickly fades to white).
VOICE: Common call is a short, nasal and slightly throaty ‘chep’ or longer (almost disyllabic) ‘cherre’. The throaty call, and sharper variants, ‘chik’, are used in chorus in display.

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