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Conservation status: Green

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 there is a black mark at its shoulder where the folded wing meets the body. It does not breed in the UK, but is a winter visitor and passage migrant in spring and autumn, journeying to and from their high Arctic breeding grounds.



Latin name

Calidris alba


Sandpipers and allies (Scolopacidae)

Where to see them

Best looked for where there are long, sandy beaches, around most of the coast other than in the south-west and the rocky coasts of mainland Scotland.

When to see them

All year round.

What they eat

Small marine worms, crustaceans and molluscs


EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
--17,000 birds-




Paul Driver, Xeno-canto

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