Sanderlings- Hebridean Birds
Western Isles Birds - Sanderlings - Hebridean Birds Sightings and Photographs

Sanderlings - mainly seen in their non breeding plumage - having an almost frosted appearance, silver grey above and mainly white below, with black legs and a short black bill.

These lovely little wading birds are just passing through the Western Isles. They actually breed much further north. The Arctic is their breeding area
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Grey Heron -  Western Isles
Photo Gallery  - Sanderlings -  Images
Bird Overview - Sanderlings
Latin name
Calidris alba


Similar Species
Little Stint
The sanderling stands out from other birds belonging to the sandpiper family in appearance and in its general behaviour. In winter it is by far the whitest, and is a very speedy nimble bird.

Here in the Western Isles you can see them darting in and out along the waves at the shoreline as they search for food. A little larger than a Dunlin with a short straight bill. non breeding or summer plumage when here in the Western Isles - silver grey above - mainly white below - black legs and black bills.

In early Autumn in moult - with traces of their chestnut breeding plumage visible. 'in their Arctic breeding ground they will be in full glory with scalloped black - grey and chestnut on the back, chestnut coloured cheeks and a dark breast band above their bright white belly.

20 - 21 cm ) - 50 - 60 g in weight
These birds can be seen on beaches in Scotland and here in The Western Isles - particularly on Luskentyre - in Harris - and also beaches like Mangersta on The Isle of Lewis. They like beaches and mudflats.

Insects, molluscs, crustaceans .Marine worms, sandhoppers and similar.
A Short song - a purring roll., plit or twil twil
These little wading birds, the sanderlings nest on scrape on the ground - June - July - have 4 eggs - incubation is 24-27days.

Misc. Info
Sanderlings are the most widespread of all the shorebirds. They live up to ten years, their flight is fast and low, swirling round and back again, in coordinated groups
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