Sanderling (Calidris alba)
Species
Sanderling (Calidria alba). Summer plumage. Taken at Farmoor, Oxon., on May 7th 2019.
Summer plumage. Taken at Farmoor, Oxon., on May 7th 2019.
(1/2500th sec at f9. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)
Sanderling (Calidris alba). Winter plumage. Taken at Farmoor, Oxon., on December 12th 2010.
Winter plumage. Taken at Farmoor, Oxon., on December 12th 2010.
(1/400th sec at f9. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)
Sanderling (Calidris alba). Juvenile. Taken at Farmoor, Oxon., on August 17th 2019.
Juvenile. Taken at Farmoor, Oxon., on August 17th 2019.
(1/1600th at f11. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)

Description

L: 18 - 21 cm

The Sanderling is a small, plump, energetic wading bird. It has a short straight black bill and medium length black legs. It is pale grey above and white underneath, and in winter its upper plumage is mostly grey. In summer it has a rich brown and black plumage rather like a Dunlin.

It does not breed in Britain but is a winter visitor and passage migrant in spring and autumn, journeying to and from its high Arctic breeding grounds.

It is mainly found on the coast in winter. Around 16000 birds over-winter in the UK.

It feeds with a distinctive dashing running action ahead of breaking waves.

This species has green status on the British list.

Sightings

17-Aug-2019 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2juv)
20-May-2019 : Ardivachar, South Uist (50+)
19-May-2019 : Àird an Rùnair, North Uist (2)
07-May-2019 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2)
07-Nov-2016 : Playa de Bolonia, Spain (20+)
06-Nov-2016 : Barbate, Spain (20+)
05-Nov-2016 : Playa de Los Lances, Spain (4+)
09-May-2015 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2)
03-May-2015 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (5)