Belongs to: winter waders

Sanderling Calidris alba

Best time to see: Oct to Mar

Key facts

Small pale shorebird, forming small flocks running along sandy beaches

Widespread winter visitor, breeding in high Arctic (although non-breeding birds sometimes stay all year)


Sandy brown above and white below; shows wingbar in flight; 20 cm

Runs up and down beaches in clockwork-like motion, looking for shrimps and other crustaceans, and molluscs

Fairly tame, allowing people to get close before flying off low over the water with 'quit–quit' calls

© Robin Chittenden

© Robin Chittenden