Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus

A common and distinctive bird in much of southern Europe but a very rare vagrant to the UK, where it has occasionally bred.

One individual arrived as an immature in Northumberland in July 1993 and then relocated to Snettisham in Norfolk about two weeks later. Much to everyone's surprise it remained in Norfolk, usually at Titchwell, for nearly 12 years. This is especially surprising given that this is normally a migratory species. Sammy, as he became known, was a popular attraction throughout his stay and it is estimated that he was seen by at least half a million people. He was last seen in May 2005 when he is presumed to have perished. The first few photos below all relate to this individual; some more from further afield follow.

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male Black-winged Stilt, Titchwell (Norfolk, UK), 20th November 2004

 

male Black-winged Stilt, Titchwell (Norfolk, UK), 24th May 2004

 

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male Black-winged Stilt, Titchwell (Norfolk, UK), 11th August 2004

 

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male Black-winged Stilt, Titchwell (Norfolk, UK), 6th September 2004

 

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male Black-winged Stilt, Titchwell (Norfolk, UK), 11th August 2004

 

male Black-winged Stilt, Titchwell (Norfolk, UK), 9th September 2004

 

The following photos are taken from within their normal range:

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Black-winged Stilts, Portopal di Capo Passero (Sicily, Italy), 30th April 2012

 

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Black-winged Stilts, Granelli (Sicily, Italy), 1st May 2012

 

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Black-winged Stilt, Granelli (Sicily, Italy), 28th April 2012

 

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Black-winged Stilts, Granelli (Sicily, Italy), 30th April 2012

 

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Black-winged Stilts, Ebro Delta (Cataluña, Spain), 21st May 2013

 

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Black-winged Stilts, near Portopal di Capo Passero (Sicily, Italy), 3rd May 2012

 

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Black-winged Stilts, Granelli (Sicily, Italy), 29th April 2012

 

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Black-winged Stilts, Castro Marim (Algarve, Portugal), 27th April 2006

 

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adult and chick Black-winged Stilts, Forte do Rato (Algarve, Portugal), 29th April 2006

 

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Black-winged Stilt, Castro Marim (Algarve, Portugal), 28th April 2006

 

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Black-winged Stilt, Granelli (Sicily, Italy), 28th April 2012

 

Black-winged Stilt, Granelli (Sicily, Italy), 30th April 2012

 

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Black-winged Stilts, Göksu Delta (Turkey), 9th May 2010

 

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Black-winged Stilts, Quinta do Lago (Algarve, Portugal), 15th April 2006

 

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Black-winged Stilt, Castro Marim (Algarve, Portugal), 26th April 2006

 

Black-winged Stilt, Castro Marim (Algarve, Portugal), 28th April 2006

 

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Black-winged Stilt, Elvas (Alentejo, Portugal), 23rd April 2006

 

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Black-winged Stilt, Marais Salants de Guérande (Loire Atlantique, France), 26th June 2009

Black-winged Stilt, Elvas (Alentejo, Portugal), 23rd April 2006

 

 

Black-necked Stilt

The American counterpart, Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus, used to be treated as a race of Black-winged Stilt but is now usually regarded as a separate species.