Thursday, 3 February 2011

Sanderling (Calidris alba)

OTHER NAMES: White, Beach-bird, Ruddy Plover
Latin Etymology: Calidris (water bird mentioned by Aristotle) alba ("white")
Flock of adult Sanderling (Calidris alba) in non-breeding plumage at Margate, Kent -  October 2018

Featured Subspecies: N/A
Weight: 40-100g  /  Length: 18-20cm  /  Wingspan: 43cm
UK GREEN LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Sanderling is a very small wader which can be seen scuttling along the waters edge looking for food. It is really a winter migrant coastal bird, but odd individuals may occasionally turn up in later in other seasons - a very distant sighting of one at Rutland during the spring being an example of this. I found some photographable ones however as Swalecliff - literally only a few meters away from me, they were exceedingly easy to photograph.  In this country we only see them in their Winter plumage - a distinctively white and silver pattern, but while breeding they turn mottled brown, but as their breeding territory is largely in the arctic circle, this is not something we get to see.

Related Species:
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Scolopacidae 
Genus: Calidris
Subspecies: none - monotypic

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A locally common Winter migrant (17000 birds)
 - Often seen on sandy beaches in Winter.  Sites include Herne BayReculverand Camber Sands. Vagrants at Rutland Water and Trevose Head   

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPBWikipedia, Xeno-canto

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