Thursday, 3 February 2011

Sanderling (Calidris alba)

Three adult Sanderling (Calidris alba) in non-breeding plumage at Camber Sands, Kent -  February 2011

OTHER NAMES: White, Beach-bird, Ruddy Plover
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 SandsA single vagrant also seen at Rutland Water

Further Information: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuidesBirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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