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Guide to Shorebird ID, Ageing & Sexing 

A photo of a Common Greenshank tringa nebularia by Matthew Feargrieve Shorebirds

About Matthew Feargrieve

Shorebirds - also known as waders - are easily observed by birdwatchers. But understanding their moult sequences and plumage variation takes some research, both in the field and at home.

         - Matthew Feargrieve

Matthew Feargrieve is a birdwatcher with a particular interest in shorebirds, or waders. Locked down during the spring of 2020, he decided to collect and rationalize his field notes. This website is the result. It is intended to be a guide to the identification and ageing of shorebirds in the field, by observing their plumage and bare part characteristics.


The notes represent several years of observing shorebirds in their summer and winter habitats, and trying to understand their moult sequences and seasonal plumage variation.

Click here to head to our species-by-species guide to shorebird and wader identification and plumage.

A veteran of many a field trip to the windy and chilly coasts and uplands of the United Kingdom, Matthew Feargrieve has written this guide with a natural focus on the species of shorebird that breed and winter in the UK. Nevertheless, the principles of observing waders in the field explained here will apply to all species of shorebird worldwide. You can find them in the "Species Guide" dropdown tab, above.


You can see Matthew's bird photography here.  


Matthew Feargrieve Green Sandpiper Shorebird.jpg
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