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.
Sanderling - non-breeding plumage
Sanderling - breeding plumage
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
|Europe||UK breeding*||UK wintering*||UK passage*|