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Home » Learning About » Information and Resources » Wildlife » Seasonal Wildlife » Winter Migrants » Waders

Wading Bird Species

During the winter the estuary at Angle and the wetlands close to Castlemartin are host to many species of wader. These birds migrate here in search of food and to shelter from the harsh winter weather elsewhere. Among the species recorded are lapwing, golden plover, greenshank, godwit and snipe. 

The lapwing was once a common bird across the UK, arriving in huge flocks during the winter, and feeding in damp river valleys and estuaries. Flocks of hundreds were common. Modern drainage practices have destroyed the habitat that this bird and other wading species need to feed. The mud at West Angle Bay and the swampy ground on the MOD Range and Castlemartin Corse offer these conditions. Large flocks gather during the winter. 

A small, dumpy brown bird, the snipe lives in the UK all year. However, in the winter more birds arrive from the continent. The snipe has a long thin beak which it uses to probe into soft mud in search of invertebrates. It is a difficult bird to see, well camouflaged against grasses and reeds, but makes a shrill kreech when disturbed.