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Ruff

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
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Johan van Rensburg
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Ruff

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:34 pm

The Ruff, Philomachus pugnax is a medium-sized wader.

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Their breeding habitat is bogs, marshes and wet meadows with short vegetation in northern Europe and Russia. They breed from May to August with males gathering in suitable areas and females nesting solitarily or in semi-colonial groups. Ruff are migratory, wintering in southern and western Europe, Africa and India. They travel on a broad front across Europe. The species arrives to “over-winter” in southern Africa late-July and August, returning to northern Europe and Russia from late-March to mid-May. The species migrates in large flocks of hundreds or thousands of individuals and forms huge dense groups on its wintering grounds. During the time spent here the species occupies the muddy margins of brackish, saline and alkaline lakes, ponds, pools, rivers, marshes and food-plains, as well as freshly mown or grazed short-sward grasslands and wheat fields, usually roosting at night in the shallow waters of lake shores.

These birds forage in a variety of habitats such as salt-pans, marshlands, lagoons and wet grasslands and soft mud, probing or picking up food by sight. They mainly eat flies, water-bugs, mayflies and grasshoppers, small crustaceans, spiders, small molluscs, annelid worms, frogs, small fish and green plant material and wild plant seed.
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread post by Rusty Justy » Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:23 pm

Hi Again,

That appears to be your Ruff(Philomachus pugnax)
Haven't seen one in the park before, yet!!!...Nice Shots!!

The paler bird(sometimes white)....Is a variant colouring, you get in some non-br males :) But both the same species.

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread post by anne-marie » Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:51 pm

Are they some kind of sandpiper ?

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:hmz: the same a saw few days ago, in Switzerland ....
thanks in davance :)
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread post by Rusty Justy » Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:09 pm

Congrats Yolande :clap: :D

Anne-Marie, the scalloped backs, reddish legs, black bill.......It's a flock of Ruff & most likely Reeve(If there was a lot of chattering) :twisted: , thanks to Imax pointing out each member of sex has a different name! :lol:
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread post by Mgoddard » Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:08 pm

And this one seen at Sunset Dam today...

I have searched my Sasol and Roberts Guides, but the bird is not jumping out at me....

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread post by Lizet Grobbelaar » Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:34 pm

Mgoddard,
This is a Ruff, moulting out of its breeding plumage. It has obviously just returned from its Northern Hemisphere breeding grounds - hence the black feathers. In full breeding plumage the whole head and breast up to the belly becomes black.

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread post by Rusty Justy » Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:58 am

Agreed, and an impressive photo :clap:
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread post by Batmad » Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:50 pm

And a sure sign that spring's here :dance: :dance: :dance:
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread post by deefstes » Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:37 pm

Batmad wrote:And a sure sign that spring's here :dance: :dance: :dance:

One Ruff doth not a summer make :D
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread post by Batmad » Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:02 pm

But one ruff doth a spring make :twisted:


LOL :lol:
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread post by Siobain » Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:45 pm

Batmad! :funny:
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread post by Falconry4ever » Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:06 pm

Mgoddard wrote:And this one seen at Sunset Dam today...

I have searched my Sasol and Roberts Guides, but the bird is not jumping out at me....

Falconry4ever wrote:Nice! Always wanted to see Ruffs in their breeding plumage. Unfortunately I won't find that in S.A. though.
Go look at some of my photos (mostly birds) @ http://www.outdoorphoto.co.za/forum/photopost/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=20417

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread post by Sprocky » Sat Dec 19, 2009 5:23 pm

Now I am stuck. :doh: Please help me with this one, photographed this morning at Sable Dam.

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread post by Barcud » Sat Dec 19, 2009 5:35 pm

Hi Sprocky,

This is a Ruff. Orange-yellow legs and scalloped pattern to the upperparts.

Barcud

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread post by Sprocky » Sat Dec 19, 2009 5:45 pm

Thanks Barcud :thumbs_up: , I thought it might be a Ruff but didn't want to make my name ..... :doh:


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