One of the most elegant of the sandpiper family, the green sandpiper is a passage migrant from northern Europe that visits Britain in spring and autumn on its way to Africa. However small numbers do overwinter in the south and west, and breeding pairs have been recorded occasionally. The nest is unusual for a wader, as the green sandpiper chooses the old nests of other birds or even squirrels in trees and adds very little new material. Its favoured habitat is small pools and reservoir edges inland, and marshes on the coast where it avoids open shores and mudflats. It can often be seen alone or in pairs in the same pool or riverbank, walking deep in the water probing for worms, insects and crustaceans. It is a shy bird and when disturbed will take off almost vertically on its strong wings with a loud clear call, towering to a great height with much turning and falling, showing the distinctive black and white tail bars which complete its beautiful dappled plumage.