Birds by Name – S

Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos

Common Sandpiper

Green Sandpiper

Green Sandpiper preening

The Green Sandpiper, Tringa ochropus, is a small, chubby wader found throughout Europe. It is migratory and winters in southern Europe. It has a dark greenish-brown back and wings (almost black looking), greyish head and breast and white underparts. The back is spotted with white to varying degrees, more so in the breeding adult. The legs and short bill are both dark green.

The Green Sandpiper can be found in freshwater margins, such as marshes, lakes, gravel pits and rivers, and it likes to bob up and down when standing which makes recognition a lot easier.

It eats insects.

Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Scolopacidae
Genus: Tringa
Species: T. ochropus

Sardinian Warbler

Sardinian Warbler

Sardinian Warbler

Scimitarbill

Scimitarbills, belonging to the genus Rhinopomastus, get their name from the shape of their bills, which are long and curved. They are a bit smaller than most wood hoopoes.

Scimitarbill

They eat insects and invertebrates, using their long bills to probe for food.

Eggs are laid in cavities in trees.

Scimitarbill

Scimitarbill

Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Phoeniculidae
Genus: Rhinopomastus

Serin

The European Serin, or just Serin, Serinus serinus, is the smallest European species of the finch family, Fringillidae, and is closely related to the Canary and it breeds throughout southern and central Europe and North Africa.

Serin, Nerja

It is a small short-tailed bird, 11 to 12 centimetres in length. The upper parts are dark-streaked greyish green and it has a yellow rump, streaked yellow breast and white belly. It has darker patches under the eyes and on top of the head. The male has a brighter yellow face and breast and yellow wing bars.

Serin, Nerja

It eats seeds, buds and small invertebrates.

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Fringillidae
Genus: Serinus
Species: S. serinus

Shrike

Yellow-billed Shrike

The Yellow-billed Shrike, Corvinella corvina, is a fairly small passerine bird in the shrike family and is a common resident breeding bird in tropical Africa from Senegal east to Uganda. It inhabits forests and other habitats with trees where it perches on branches as it seeks out food.

Yellow-billed Shrike

The Yellow-billed Shrike is about 18 centimetres in length with a long tail and short wings. The adult has mottled brown upper area and streaked buff underparts. The bill is, fairly obviously, yellow. Both sexes are similar in colour.

Yellow-billed Shrike

Nests are built in a bush or tree and normally four or five eggs are laid. However, only one female in a group actually breeds at any given time, the rest of the group members assisting by providing protection and food.

Yellow-billed Shrike

Insects are the primary food of the Yellow-billed Shrike.

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Laniidae
Genus: Corvinella
Species: C. corvina

White Helmet-shrike

White Helmetshrike

White Helmetshrike

Woodchat Shrike

Woodchat Shrike female

Woodchat Shrike female

Siskin

Siskin, Nerja, March 20th

Snipe

Snipe

Snipe

Spoonbill

African Spoonbill

African Spoonbill

African Spoonbill

Star Finch

The Star Finch, Neochmia ruficauda, is a very colourful small bird in the finch family and is native to the dry savanna and grasslands of Australia.

Star Finch

Star Finch

These particular specimens were flying around with the Gouldian Finches in the Butterfly Park in Benalmádena.

Star Finch

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Estrildidae
Genus: Neochmia
Species: N. ruficauda

Starling

Long-tailed Glossy Starling

This rather splendiferous bird with a metallic sheen is the Long-tailed Glossy Starling, Lamprotornis caudatus, which grows up to a total length of around 54 centimetres, 34 centimetres of which is taken up by the magnificent tail.

Long-tailed Glossy Starling

The Long-tailed Glossy Starling is omnivorous, eating everything from fruit to insects.

Quite a distinctive yellow eye, particularly on a black face.

The Long-tailed Glossy Starling lays between two and four eggs.

Long-tailed Glossy Starling

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Sturnidae
Genus: Lamprotornis
Species: L. caudatus

Purple Glossy Starling

The Purple Glossy Starling, Lamprotornis purpureus, is about 23 centimetres in length and has a metallic purple head and body, glossy green wings, a short tail and a yellow eye.

Purple Glossy Starling

Purple Glossy Starling

The Purple Glossy Starling is omnivorous, eating both fruits and insects.

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Sturnidae
Genus: Lamprotornis
Species: L. purpureus

Spotless Starling

The Spotless Starling, Sturnus unicolor, is basically the Iberian answer to the common Starling found elsewhere in Europe and, as the name might suggest, it has, for the majority of the year, no spots.

Spotless Starling, Nerja

The Spotless Starling is basically restricted to the Iberian Peninsula, northwest Africa, southernmost France, the islands of Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica and is largely non-migratory.

The Spotless Staring is slightly larger than its common counterpart and has a more oily appearance (or shiny as I prefer to call it). In winter, the male has a bluish base to the beak and the female has a pinkish base. The only time this bird has the vaguest semblance of spots is during part of the winter and this effect is caused by the tips of the wing feathers.

Spotless Starling

Like the common Starling, the Spotless Starling walks rather than hops along. Also like most starlings it is a hole-nesting species, breeding in tree holes, buildings and in cliff crevices. It typically lays three to five eggs.

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Sturnidae
Genus: Sturnus
Species: S. unicolor

Starling

The Starling, Sturnus vulgaris, is a small to medium-sized passerine bird in the family Sturnidae, just a bit smaller than a Blackbird.

Starling

It has a short tail, pointed head, triangular wings and a glossy, almost metallic sheen of purples and greens.

Starlings eat insects and fruit.

Order: Passeriformes
Suborder:Passeri
Family: Sturnidae

Stilt

Black-winged Stilt

Black-winged Stilt

Stonechat

The Stonechat, Saxicola rubicola, is a small, robin-sized, passerine bird that was also formerly classed as a member of the thrush family, Turdidae, but is now considered part of the Old World flycatcher family Muscicapidae.

Stonechat

Males have striking black heads with white around the side of their neck, orange-red breasts and a mottled brown back. Females lack the male’s black head, but have brown backs and an orange tinge to their chests.

Stonechat

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Muscicapidae
Genus: Saxicola
Species: S. rubicola

Stork

Abdim’s Stork

Abdim's Stork

Abdim's Stork

Yellow-billed Stork

Yellow-billed Stork

Yellow-billed Stork

Swallow

Wire-tailed Swallow

The Wire-tailed Swallow, Hirundo smithii, is a relatively small passerine bird in the Hirundinidae family.

Wire-tailed Swallow

The Wire-tailed Swallow breeds south of the Sahara desert in Africa and in the tropical areas of southern Asia from India to southeast Asia.

Wire-tailed Swallow

Different lighting – bright sunshine and shade – makes the Wire-tailed Swallow look strikingly different.

Wire-tailed Swallow

It is about 14 centimetres in length, has bright blue upperparts, a reddish-brown crown and white belly. It also has long, thin tail feathers, hence its name.

The Wire-tailed Swallow generally lays 3 to 4 eggs in a neat half-bowl nest are lined with mud. As with other Swallows and Martins, nests are built on vertical surfaces near water, under cliff ledges or on man-made structures such as buildings and bridges.

Wire-tailed Swallow

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Hirundinidae
Genus: Hirundo
Species: H. smithii

Swan

Bewick’s Swan

Bewick's Swan

Black Swan

Black Swans

Black Swan

Black-necked Swan

Black-necked Swan

Coscoroba Swan

Coscoroba Swan

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter Swan