What is this young bird?

Q. We were in Suffolk last week at Trimley Marshes (what a brilliant place for birds!) and saw this bird which we couldn't identify. We suspect it is a young bird but it didn't seem to be like any of the other youngsters. Can you help?
Liz Burgess

A. This is a male Ruff in its breeding plumage, as shown by that thick plumage around the neck and the proportionately small head. This one was almost certainly on his way to the Scandinavian and Arctic breeding grounds, although a very few Ruffs (and their female equivalent, “Reeves”) do occasionally breed in the UK.