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bird Sanderlings

Identify It >   Birds Section >   Sanderlings >

Scientific name:  Calidris alba

Size:  Approximately 20cm long.

Distribution:  Found around most of the UK coastline

Months seen:  August to March.  During the summer months Sanderlings return to the high arctic to breed (Canada, Greenland, Siberia)

Habitat:  Sandy coastline, estuaries, mud flats and coastal pools

Food:  Worms, molluscs and crustaceans

Special features:  In wintertime Sanderlings have predominantly light grey plumage on their upper parts and spotless white plumage below.  During the summer months the plumage on their backs and head is a reddish-brown - more noticable in the males.  The beak and legs are black.  In flight they have a large white wing bar which runs the full length of the wing.

As they have no backward pointing toes they are very fast runners on the ground.

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