Grey Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius
Found over most of the island group excepting the eastern part of Nordaustlandet. It is most common at small lakes and lagoons on plains along the coast and on flat ground in the large valleys. Also common on vegetated islands with pools and Arctic Tern colonies. Often seen singly or in pairs, but large flocks can appear at favourable sites in late June and the whole of July. Probably several thousand pairs breed.
Features: 20-22 cm. The females moult to winter plumage relatively early, so that the sexes are not so easy to distinguish in July and later. The young birds lack the red colour. One year old birds resemble the adults in transition plumage. In September some can be in full winter plumage. Often calls in flight, a short sharp «kitt».
Breeding: Breeds mainly by the side of small lakes or at damp sites with rich vegetation. The nest is well hidden in patches of pale grass from the previous year.