Ruff (Calidris pugnax)
Ruff (Philomachus pugnas). Juvenile. Taken at Titchwell, Norfolk, on October 9th 2017.
Juvenile. Taken at Titchwell, Norfolk, on October 9th 2017.
(1/400th sec at f13. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)


♂ L: 29 - 32 cm; WS: 54 - 60 cm ♀ L: 22 - 26cm; WS: 46 - 49cm

The Ruff is a medium-sized wading bird. It has a long neck, a small head, a rather short slightly droopy bill and medium-long orange or reddish leg. In flight it shows a faint wing-stripe and oval white patches either side of the tail. There is a marked size difference, with males being larger. Males sport elaborate plumage in the breeding season.

It breeds in a very small number of sites in eastern England. Its main breeding area is northern Europe. Birds mostly over-winter in Africa, but some stay in the UK on the coast.

Breeding habitat includes taiga bogs, in marshes and pools on mountainsides and tundra, and in wet grass meadows at lakesides or seashore.

The Ruff is a Red list species in the UK, due to the low number of breeding birds.


19-Sep-2019 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1juv)
24-Mar-2019 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
17-Jan-2019 : Slimbridge, Glos (1)
12-Oct-2017 : Cley Marshes, Norfolk (20+)
10-Oct-2017 : Titchwell Marsh, Norfolk
09-Oct-2017 : Titchwell Marsh, Norfolk (20+)
23-Oct-2015 : Cley Marshes, Norfolk (1)