Helodromas ochropus – An autumn visitor.
This Sandpiper, which is larger than the preceding species, and is to be known by its conspicuous white tail, broadly barred with black, and by its shrill whistle when it is flushed, makes its appearance by the sides of pools and creeks near the coast about the middle of August, and is fairly common. It has its favourite stations on the marshes, and the places where it has been noticed one year are almost certain to be revisited season after season.
Not unfrequently it occurs throughout the winter months, and is always one of the very wildest of birds, and difficult to approach. Sir Hugh Owen has seen it at Goodwick. Mr. Tracy writes: ” A few of these beautiful birds may always be obtained about the margins of our fresh water rivers and ponds during the autumn and winter.” Mr. Dix, in his neighbourhood, considered the Green Sandpiper scarce, but remarks that it was a regular visitor to certain spots every August, only remaining for a few days.
This species differs from other Sandpipers that place their eggs upon the ground in swamps or at the edges of ponds and streams, by always selecting the deserted nest of a Pigeon or Crow to breed in, at some considerable height from the ground. It is believed, with some probability, to occasionally nest in the British Isles, as it has been noted in every month in the year, and young birds have been met with so little advanced in plumage as to preclude the idea that they could have come from any distance.