Sanderling - Calidris alba


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. Uniquely amongst British waders, the Sanderling has no hind toe - giving it a distinctive running action, rather like a clockwork toy, as it darts away from incoming waves on the beach edge.

Identification difficulty

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 it

All year round.

UK Status

A winter visitor (numbering 16,000 birds) and passage migrant in spring and autumn, journeying to and from their high Arctic breeding grounds.

VC55 Status

Scarce to uncommon passage migrant and rare winter visitor

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
21/05/2008 (G. Busby)
Last record:
05/10/2019 (Palmer, Paul)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

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