• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article


NORMALLY about eight or nine inches long, the dotterel is a medium-sized member of the plover family.

Adults have grey-brown upperparts, a bright chestnut belly and a white chest band, throat and eye stripe.

The dotterel turns the tables on traditional gender roles, as the bright-coloured females lead courtship before leaving the smaller, drabber males to incubate the eggs and raise the young. For this reason the species is counted by the number of breeding males rather than pairs.

Small flocks of dotterel known as "trips" may be seen on low hilltops as the birds migrate north in the spring.

Britain is at the south-western extent of the dotterels' range, with the bulk of the population occupying breeding grounds eastwards from Scandinavia to Siberia.

Contextual targeting label: 

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.