Alice Springs Waste Stabilisation Ponds

A medium-sized wader and of the order Calidridinae, the Ruff (Calidris pugnax) is a unique shorebird with a short bill that has a very slight down curve.

Ruff (Calidris pugnax), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds, NT © Dorothy Latimer
Ruff (Calidris pugnax), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds, NT © Dorothy Latimer

The Ruff is found breeding in tundra habitats, bogs, marshes and wet meadows across northern Eurasia. Migrants are found in a number of wetland habitat from reservoirs to coastal mudflats. Whilst they winter mainly in Africa, they are also found across India and Southeast Asia, with the occasional vagrant sighting in Australia, including Tasmania and Alice Springs (the arid inland of Central Australia). They have been sighted in Australia between September to April.

Ruff (Calidris pugnax), Alice Springs NT © Dorothy Latimer
Ruff (Calidris pugnax) (ASWTW), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds, NT © Dorothy Latimer

The photographs shown here were taking in the month of October.

Check out our Birds | Waders | Ruff (Calidris pugnax) and the blog: A bit of Ruff at the Poo Ponds.

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Vertebrata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Scolopacidae
  • Genus: Calidris
  • Species: Calidris pugnax

Footnote & References

  1. Ruff (bird), (last visited Oct. 22, 2021)
  2. Ruff (Calidris pugnax), eBird,
  3. Ruff (Calidris pugnax), iNaturalistAU,
  4. Philomachus pugnax — Ruff (Reeve), Species Profile and Threats Database, Australian Government,

Birds at the PondsAustralasian Grebe Australian Hobby Australian Pratincole Australian Spotted Crake Bar-tailed Godwit Black Swan Black-shouldered Kite Budgerigar Crimson Chat Flock Bronzewing Glossy Ibis Gull-billed Tern Hoary-headed Grebe Musk Duck Orange Chat Pied Stilt Plumed Whistling-Duck Red-kneed Dotterel Red-necked Avocet Red-necked Stint Ruff Sanderling Splendid Fairy-wren Straw-necked Ibis Variegated Fairywren Wedge-tailed Eagle Whiskered Tern Whistling Kite White-winged Fairywren Yellow-billed Spoonbill

Alice Springs Waste Stabilisation PondsBirds Insects Spiders Wildlife Landscape Landscape of Birds

Alice Springs AttractionsAlice Springs Desert Park Alice Springs Reptile Centre Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve Alice Springs Waste Stabilisation Ponds Alice Springs Walks Untyeyetwelye • ANZAC Hill Araluen Cultural Precinct Bird Watching in Alice Springs and Central Australia Central Australian Aviation Museum The Gathering Garden John Flynn’s Grave Historical Reserve Kunoth Bore Olive Pink Botanic Garden Royal Flying Doctor Service

Alice SpringsAlice Springs Accommodation Alice Springs Pet Friendly Accommodation Alice Springs Art & Culture Alice Springs Attractions Alice Springs Directory Alice Springs Distance Alice Springs Festival & Events Alice Springs Flora and Fauna Alice Springs Fauna Alice Springs Flora Getting Around Alice Springs Alice Springs Aboriginal Tours Alice Springs Tours Alice Springs Tours – Other