Common Sandpiper - Actitis hypoleucos


A smallish wader with contrasting brown upper parts and white under parts. It habitually bobs up and down, known as 'teetering', and has a distinctive flight with stiff, bowed wings. Its presence is often betrayed by its three-note call which it gives as it flies off.

Identification difficulty

In summer it breeds along fast rivers and by lakes, lochs and reservoirs in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the north of England. In winter it may be seen along the south coast, and on spring and autumn passage it can be found elsewhere in the UK, near any freshwater areas and on some estuaries.

When to see it

Summer visitors arrive in March and April and leave their breeding grounds in July and August, with the young following in September. Autumn passage birds are seen from July to September and wintering birds can be seen from October onwards.

Life History

Sandpipers are ground feeders that dine on crustaceans, insects, worms, and other creatures. They retrieve them by meticulously pecking and probing with their short bills.

UK Status

Fairly widespread and common in Britain, particularly in the summer months

VC55 Status

Fairly common as a bird of passage in Leicestershire and Rutland, but few wintering birds in this area.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map