Wader Tales


WaderTales blogs are written by Graham Appleton, to celebrate waders and wader research. Many of the articles are based on previously published papers, with the aim of making wader science available to a broader audience. Click on a link in bold to read an individual blog. Black-tailed Godwits feature strongly, alongside much RSPB and Iceland-based  breeding wader research.

Black-tailed Godwits

The individual movements and breeding season behaviour of Icelandic Black-tailed Godwits have been studied for twenty years by researchers at the Universities of East Anglia, Iceland and Aveiro. They have been helped by thousands of birdwatchers.

Iceland-based research

The range of wader research in Iceland has expanded over the years and these blogs give a taster of the the breadth of the work.

Lowland breeding waders in the UK: Lapwings and Redshanks

The work of RSPB and University of East Anglia scientists features strongly in these blogs, which focus on support for breeding wader populations in lowland wet grassland and salting.

Single-species studies

This section is a bit of a miscellany. Each blog is focused on a particular species and is usually based on a scientific paper that highlights a broader issue of conservation importance.

Project work

One of the aims of these blogs is to engage people in projects that are in need of volunteers or other forms of public engagement.

  • NEWS and Oystercatchers focuses on the waders that  winter on coasts, instead of estuaries. It was written to promote the 205/16 coastal survey run by BTO.
  • Tracking waders on the Severn urges birdwatchers to look for colour-marked waders and Shelducks, to support BTO and WWT work related to power generation on the Severn.
  • All downhill for upland waders outlines changes to breeding numbers and distributions of waders breeding in England’s uplands.

Broader issues in wader/shorebird conservation

The intention is to add one or two new blogs each month. You can sign up to receive an e-mail notification when a new one is published.

GFA in IcelandGraham (@grahamfappleton) has studied waders for over 40 years and is currently involved in wader research in the UK and in Iceland.  He was Director of Communications at The British Trust for Ornithology until 2013 and is now a freelance writer and broadcaster.

12 thoughts on “Wader Tales

  1. Wadertales is a wonderful blog with really interesting and informative content which we eagerly read when a new blog is posted. You can never know too much about waders and their conservation and we always learn something from these excellent articles.


  2. Do you know anything about oystercatchers using visual stimuli when foraging for food – i.e. the greater number of worm casts the greater diversity of inverts in sand – so do they notice more worm casts and thus forage there ?? A friend of mine is looking into this at the moment and I am assisting a little with research etc – Thank You


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  5. Dear Graham,
    I find your article published in the recent BBC Wildlife’s issue absolutely gorgeous. I red it with a smile. It is so true that it convinced me to buy, at last, the hearing aid which I postponed for two year. Your text is so pleasant that it should be published in the Oiseau Magazine from the LPO.
    Best regards from Strasbourg


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