Red-necked Phalarope

Phalaropes are a tiny wader spend their summer on the Tundra of Iceland and the Northern Scandinavia.  The Grey Phalarope and the Wilsons Phalarope are uncommon visitors and draw birdwatchers when then do reach Britain.  The Red-necked Phalarope is a much more regular visitor and is often found in small numbers on the small island of Fetlar in the Shetland Isles. Most years it breeds at the Loch Of Funzie nature reserve after returning from the Arabian sea area where it spend winter. 

Loch of Funzie is famous for being the only known site in Britain for Breeding Snowy Owls where they bred from  the late 1960s to 1975.  It is also a great place to see many other waders such as Wimbrel.

The number of Red-necked Phalarops that visit Fetlar varies each year, but with luck it is possible to photograph them, it is also possible to get photographs in Iceland where there are a relatively common bird.  A small colourful bird that is only 18cm long. They swim constantly and can be a tricky subject, but can be quite confiding and if you are quiet and patient, they will often approach you.